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US Supreme Court declines to hear Indiana child molesting case

WASHINGTON (WISH) — The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it will not review an Indiana child molestation case where the suspect claims his Miranda rights were violated.

The court confirmed it will not consider the case of Axel Domingo Diego.

A Cass County jury convicted Domingo Diego on two counts of child molestation in Dec. 2021.

Domingo Diego argued his statements to police should not be allowed in court because of violations of his Miranda rights, in part because of a language barrier.

Domingo Diego’s primary language is Chuj, a Mayan language spoken in Guatemala and Mexico, but he also speaks some Spanish and English. 

His attorneys also argued the certified Spanish-to-English translation of the police interview revealed several errors by the translator who was present.

A Cass County judge and the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed and ruled the interview inadmissible.

Indiana’s Supreme Court overturned those decisions in June 2021, ruling that Domingo Diego was free to leave the police interview at any time.

“True, the couple was told they ‘needed’ to come to the police station, Detective Munson did carry his gun, Domingo Diego was outnumbered in the interview room, and the couple had to move through several barriers,” Justice Steven David wrote. “But given the casual atmosphere, exploratory and conversational line of questioning, and relatively unimpeded pathway to the room, the totality of these objective circumstances does not represent a curtailment akin to formal arrest.”

Domingo Diego is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence. He is scheduled to return to court in June, hoping to get the sentence reduced.