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Proof Ignorance of the law is not a defense

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Senior Member
What is the name of your state? Indiana

This article was in the paper today and as this title states it shows that ignorance of the law, or doing what YOU THINK you can do is not a defense:

Couple charged for citizen's arrest

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. -- Two people who helped place a man under citizen's arrest when he strayed onto the wrong property found themselves in jail.

Michigan City police received a call Sunday night from a man who said he had been detained by four people while he was trying to find a friend's house. The man told police he was grabbed by two men and told to quit resisting, as he was under arrest. The man said he complied because he thought they were police officers.

Two women then came out of a nearby house and handcuffed the man, although he tried to explain he was just visiting a friend and had taken the wrong staircase, he told police.
The group took the handcuffed man to his friend's house, and released him when the friend vouched for him.

After receiving the report, police contacted Joel and Claudette St. Germain, who acknowledged handcuffing the man. Joel St. Germain told police he has had problems in the past with people stealing things from his lawn. He told officers he didn't know it was wrong to handcuff a man he didn't recognize in his yard.

The St. Germains, who were being held Monday at the LaPorte County Jail, were arrested and charged with criminal confinement, a Class D felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine, and battery, a Class A misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a fine up to $5,000.

The other two people accused of confining the man were not identified

Copyright 2006 IndyStar.com. All rights reserved

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