Indiana Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Corbin Case


The Indiana Supreme Court gave no indication of when they might rule on a case from Starke County. The justices heard oral arguments this morning in Robert Corbin v. State of Indiana. Corbin was arrested in April of 2012 on attempted child seduction charges stemming from Facebook messages between him and a 16-year-old female Knox High School student. At the time Corbin was a teacher at Knox. His attorney argued unsuccessfully before Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall that Corbin did not take a “substantial step” to constitute the crime. A state appeals court ruled in Corbin’s favor and dismissed the charges. The state appealed, and the Supreme Court took the case. Corbin’s attorney made the same argument before the high court this morning in Indianapolis. “No case has ever held that mere communication when the defendant is not in the physical proximity of the victim can support an attempt conviction,” Nick Otis told the justices. They questioned whether that’s realistic in this day and age of social media and other ways to essentially have “live communication” even though you are separated by distance.  Justin Roebel with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office presented the state’s case. “The state’s big concern is how to deal with an electronic message to meet at a very soon time,” Roebel said. He notes that has not been addressed in prior case law but will likely become a common scenario as technology continues to advance.