Appeals Court upholds molest conviction

May 9—ANDERSON — The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the 2023 conviction of a Pendleton man for child molesting.

A Madison Circuit Court 3 jury in 2023 found Lamar Fuqua, 60, guilty on two felony counts of child molesting, and the state dismissed two counts because the witness was unable to remember incidents that occurred when she was 3 or 4 years old.

Judge Andrew Hopper sentenced Fuqua to prison for 40 years. Hopper also ruled Fuqua to be a credit-restricted felon, requiring him to serve 85% of the sentence.

Fuqua was determined to be a sexually violent felon and will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

The state's case was presented by deputy prosecutors Dan Kopp and Donna Duncan.

The Court of Appeals in April denied Fuqua's appeal, in which he alleged the court erred in allowing testimony about the girl's mental health program treatment.

Fuqua also maintained that the testimony of Holly Renz, a sexual assault nurse, should not have been allowed and that prosecutors should not have been allowed to refer to Renz's testimony in closing statements to the jury.

In the appeals court ruling, judges noted that no such objections were raised by Fuqua during the testimony presented at the trial.

The judges ruled the testimony concerning the mental health treatment was relevant and Renz's testimony was not improper.

The probable cause affidavit said Fuqua molested an 11-year-old girl starting seven or eight years earlier, when she was 3 or 4 years old, during visits to Madison County. Fuqua reportedly gave the girl $10 and said he could "do what I want."

Another family told police that Fuqua fondled their daughter July 4, 2023, and the girl corroborated the information during a Kids Talk interview several weeks later.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.