Attorney disputes Carmel bus video allegation


Sandra Chapman/13 Investigates

Hamilton County - For the first time, a Carmel Police officer says a portion of the video captured on the back of a Carmel School bus January 22nd does show activity that could have led to criminal charges against Brandon Hoge and Robert Kitzinger.

But Detective Greg Dawson swears that the Department of Child Services got it wrong when it says he reportedly saw Brandon Hoge sticking his fingers where they didn't belong.

The case has divided the Carmel community. Now, just days after the bus victim's attorney suggested possible video and witness tampering, a detective on the case is jumping into the fray, taking exception to a damaging Child Protective Services report.

The scathing, confidential Child Protective Services report is being called into question by a Carmel Police officer who swears he didn't see former Carmel High School basketball player Brandon Hoge on a bus video tape sticking his fingers anywhere.

In an affidavit obtained by 13 Investigates, Detective Greg Dawson said, "Several video files were recovered from the deleted and overwritten directories on the hard drive. I have reviewed those video files. Contrary to what was reported by DCS, the video does not show Brandon Hoge sticking his fingers inside anyone's buttocks. Furthermore, it does not show anyone unclothed. While one portion of the video shows activity that I believe led to certain charges in this case and a related case, it is impossible to see on the video the extent of the activity due to the number of people crowded around those involved."

It's the first time Carmel Police have responded to the DCS report, which prompted what some term a gag order in the case in Hamilton County.

Monday, the victim's attorney announced he was seeking a federal investigation into possible video and witness tampering.

"In light of the Child Protective Services report with a police officer I don't know, I've not talked to, said he saw it, he did observe activity. Why is that not credible evidence?" Turner said.

"When a police officer says it did, and he saw the video. One easy way to determine that is to bring forth the video. And if it has not been altered, that'll answer the question," Turner added.

The video in question is now in Hendricks County. The case was transferred to Prosecutor Pat Baldwin a month ago.

"We've had the Indiana State Police Forensic Department look at it and there was no indication that anything had been tampered with," said Baldwin earlier this week.

In a statement to 13 Investigates, Hoge's attorney called the DCS statement, regarding Hoge's actions on the tape "completely and totally false," adding, "Contrary to the allegations of Mr. Turner, there has been no 'influence' exerted by me or the Hoge family; and furthermore, we find no evidence that influence has been exerted by others involved."

See the affidavit here. Note: Attorney Jim Crum says this affidavit is unsigned, but Detective Dawson signed an identical one late Tuesday.