This is a story of Mario's wife of 14 years seeking sole custody during a divorce and angered by her husband's alleged affairs with two other women. She used her husband's willing political enemies to assist her in gaining sole custody and revenge by falsely claiming her husband raped her, resulting in Mario receiving a 27-year sentence.

Mario L. Sims Sr., was charged with Burglary, a Class B felony; Rape, a class A felony; Criminal Deviate conduct, a class A felony; Rape a class A felony; and criminal Deviate conduct, a class A felony in a trial by jury and the Court having entered judgment on the Jury's verdict.

Mario L. Sims, Sr., an African-American born and raised in Chicago came to live in South Bend to get away from the fast life he had in Chicago and to live in a quiet community close to his elderly mother. Soon after he bought a house and became involved in the community Mario Sims became widely known and soon had a very high profile.

He established his own business working out of his home, Sims & Associates. He became the Interim Director for the St. Joseph County Urban League, he was the founder of the Northwest Side Neighborhood Association, wrote a biweekly column in the Communicator, a local newspaper, was on the Holy Cross Board where his son attended school, was member of the Parish finance committee, Chairman of the Father Malloy St. Joseph County Drug taskforce neighborhood committee, a member of the Board of Directors of the St. Joseph County NAACP, coach at the Y.M.C.A. where he was also a member of the Board of Directors where he chaired the Program committee, had a daily A.M. radio program on WIWO that was heard in 13 states from Trenton, New Jersey to Boulder, Colorado that regularly featured Mario's commentary on what he perceived as Barnes' failure to prosecute drug cases and Kernan's inability to manage South Bend's government, a member of various community organizations and frequently appeared as spokesperson for those organizations.

Mr. Sims had served his community by speaking out on issues of community concern including crime. By doing so he was told by members of the community that he was stepping on some mighty big toes. He was not aware of what those big toes would one day do to him.

Joseph Kernan was mayor of South Bend at the time of Mario Sims' conviction and Michael Barnes was the Prosecutor. Mario and the two men repeatedly clashed in the media. Prior to Mario's arrest on January 22, 1994 he had been an outspoken opponent of the St. Joseph elected Prosecutor, Michael P. Barnes, and the South Bend Mayor, Joseph Kernan.

Then one day Mario Sims' world came to a halt when he retrieved a telephone message from his answering machine at 1025 N. Johnson Street, South Bend Indiana. Mario had moved into one of his rental properties from his marital residence of 1050 N. Johnson Street after Linda (his then wife) had filed for a divorce in October of 1993. The marriage produced one child, a boy born June 7th, 1984 named Mario Lee Sims that Mario and Linda called "Junior."

Mario immediately contacted his divorce attorney, David Albert. On January 22, 1994 after taking Mario's call divorce Attorney David Albert called the police and had been told by the South Bend Police that Linda had alleged that on Friday, January 21, 1994 Mario had broken a glass panel on the front door of the marital residence at 1050 N. Johnson Street to gain entry then waited for Linda to arrive home from work and then while a hand gun was nearby and under threat of being injected with a syringe filled with heroine forced her to write a reconciliation note and committed the sex acts.

Mario went to the South Bend Police Department with Attorney David Albert and his then fiancée L. C. to give a statement. (L.C. later became a state's witness). Prior to going to the Police Dept. Mario, who had Junior as part of his four days of visitation and joint custody, left Junior at 1025 N. Johnson in the care of neighbor Candace Tompkins until Mario's expected return that day.

While at the police station with Mario and Attorney David Albert, L. C. told the South Bend Police that she was an insulin dependent type I diabetic and that she kept a package containing 10 syringes in Mario's house at 1025 N. Johnson for use in an emergency and that she had used one from the package.

On January 23, 1994, a day after Mario's arrest and a day after the Police searched Mario's house at 1025 N. Johnson, L. C. went to clean Mario's house. The private line rang and L. C. thinking she was the only one who knew the number answered it and entered into conversation with Lori Gizewski, Mario's neighbor who lived 2 blocks down from Mario's house. Lori lived across from Mario's mother, Mrs. Claudette Winston. Lori then came over to speak with L. C. and they both realized they had been having a consensual sex relationship with Mario without knowing of each other and both became angry. Lori told L. C. that Mario must've used her (Lori's) gun then L. C. said Mario must've used her syringe. L. C. then called the South Bend Police and told them she had found the handgun Lori claimed to have "loaned" Mario for his use on January 21, 1994. L. C. also called Linda to describe the handgun and the syringe.

On January 24, 1994 after the South Bend Police spoke to Lori and L. C. Mario was charged with two counts of rape as class A felonies and two counts of criminal deviate conduct as class A felonies in addition to the burglary charge as a class B felony with all charges stemming from the alleged assault on January 21, 1994 against Linda.

Two days later Lori called the police and claimed to have found Mario's watch on her back porch. During the time Mario was held on the charges in the St. Joseph County jail awaiting trial he was moved without requesting a move from the five man cell he was moved in to a large open unit that held over 30 inmates.

Soon thereafter, three inmates in the unit, Paul Whitmer, Dennis Jones and Lionel Williams claimed Mario had confessed to them and Whitmer's five-page statement was attached to the state's response to discovery Motion filed on March 25, 1994. Shortly before trial Whitmer recanted to Mario. Mario gave Whitmer's recantation to his Private Investigator; Denis Burns to give to Mario's Lawyer Kevin Milner and Burns did so.

Prior to trial Mario's then Lawyer Raymond Balough received a telephone call from State's witness (Mario's former fiancée) L. C. and Balough had Sims' private investigator Denis Burns tape it and in the tape L. C. said that she wanted some form of payment not to testify against Mario. She also said that the elected Prosecutor had promised to help her get Mario's Mercedes in exchange for her testimony. They also showed her Lori 
and Linda's statements.

It was not hard to prove Linda was not credible since she had made prior demonstrably false allegations of Mario having raped her on January 4, 1994. During the course of the divorce proceedings between Mario and Linda she had called the South Bend Police several times alleging that Mario had not returned their nine year old son, Mario Lee Sims ("Junior") to her in a timely manner after visitations with his father or that Mario had rung her doorbell at 1050 N. Johnson too many times when returning Junior, or that on December 15, 1993 when Linda had invited Mario over to have consensual sex then alleged Mario had not left the house at 1050 N. Johnson quickly enough after having had consensual sex with Linda thereby making her late for work.

Linda knew that if Mario were in prison custody would no longer be an issue. Mario had no history of felony arrests. Mario and Linda had agreed after Linda filed for divorce that Mario would live down the street from Linda at 1025 N. Johnson so that Mario could have temporary joint custody and visitation with Junior four days then Linda would have four days.

Mario Sims has learned that because he chose to take seriously his first amendment right of freedom of speech to lawfully express opposition to those elected officials who are supposed to be servants of the people, but have in fact become masters of the people, his crime is being Mario Sims. This is not downplaying or ignoring the serious nature of charges. But his ex- wife Linda has said that she did not bring these charges. She only wanted a divorce. But the reality was that the powers that be wanted Mario removed from society to serve their purposes. The Court takes note of Mr. Sims' statements both to the probation officer and in open court that this is, "a political case."

In Mario's taped statement he said he had consensual sex with Linda that night after having fixed a window on a door that Linda had broken. Linda had sent a note with a door key enclosed for 1050 N. Johnson Street that was given by her to Junior to give to Mario that morning of January 21, 1994 so Mario could fix the door. Mario denied breaking into the house, denied having a syringe, denied having a handgun and denied forcing Linda to have sex. Mario also told police that he had been at the Heritage Cable Television Studio taping his television show from 2:00 p.m. until a little after 4:00 p.m. the day of the alleged crime on January 21, 1994.

Balough resigned on March 28, 1994 because Mario could not pay him. On April 4, 1994 Attorney Kevin Milner entered his appearance. Mario met with Kevin Milner one time before trial and Milner took notes at that meeting. Milner did not visit the alleged crime scene. Throughout the pre-trial and trail proceedings every time Mario would enter the Courtroom Judge Jourdan's demeanor would become visibly hostile, glaring at Mario.

A 12-member jury was impaneled on June 1, 1994. On June 2, 1994 the State began its case in chief. The theory of the State's case was that sometime before 3:30 p.m. on January 21, 1994 that Mario armed with a handgun given to him by Lori Gizewski and with a syringe he took out of a package belonging to L. C. broke into 1050 N. Johnson through a glass panel on the front door and then waited until Linda arrived a little after 5:00 p.m. and over a period of six hours sexually assaulted Linda.

On June 2, 1994 the State's Case in Chief began when the State called as its first witness Dr. Brent Crofoot, who had conducted the medical examination of Linda. Dr. Crofoot testified that Linda's blood pressure and pulse were normal after the alleged rape; there were no signs of any evidence of trauma anywhere on Linda's body. There were no injuries to Linda's vagina or rectum and there was no indication of forced sex of any kind.

Twice, one of the Jurors, Mr. Kelly, sent a note to Judge Jourdan saying he could not continue as a juror because the English language was not precise enough to allow him to understand what they (the Judge and Lawyers) meant specifically. He said the State gave evidence that didn't explicitly refer to the defendant nor narrowed a focus on and of deviate sexual behavior charges, only burglary. The Court sent a response to Mr. Kelly's note and said that he had to serve as juror

On June 3, 1994 Mario was convicted on all counts. On June 8th, 1994 six days after L. C. testified against Mario, she was awarded his Mercedes. On June 9, 1994 Judge Means and St. Joseph County prosecutor Michael P. Barnes, had previously agreed to the sentence modification of felony Lionel Williams and granted Williams an early release from prison six days after Williams testified against Mario. On June 24th, 1994 Mario sent a letter to Judge Jourdan saying that his political opponents had railroaded him. He fired Milner and asked to represent himself pro se.

On July 1, 1994 Mario was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Judge Jourdan appointed a pubic defender from the Indiana State Public Defenders Office to perfect Mario's direct appeal. Mario told the State Public Defender, David Freund, that he had witnesses who would provide him with affidavits saying he was innocent and that his trial judge was biased and prejudiced against him. Freund informed Mario that because the trial judge paid his fees he would not raise this issue. Mario then filed his Davis Motion in the Court of Appeals, advising this court of Freund's conflict of interest and attached the affidavits he had told Freund about.

On April 25, 1995 this court granted Mario's Davis Motion for the purposes of filing a Belated Motion to Correct Errors. On May 8, 1995 Mario filed his verified motion for change of judge. Mario's change of judge was denied on May 18, 1995. Mario filed his Belated Motion to Correct Errors with the affidavits of Tom "T-Brooks" Brademus, Denis Burns, Attorney Charles Asher and Candace Tompkins on May 25, 1995 in the St. Joseph Superior Court. On June 8, 1995 Mario filed additional affidavits from Attorney David Albert and Charles Hoskins.

On June 16, 1995 Mario took depositions of Linda, L. C. and Lori and subpoenaed Lionel Williams, Dennis Jones and Kevin Milner. Milner and Williams never appeared at the deposition. At the conclusion of the Belated Motion to Correct Errors Hearing Judge Jourdan, glaring angrily at Mario and then directing her comments to Mario while his elderly Mother was sitting in the courtroom, said that Mario's mother had angered Judge Jourdan for making comments during voir dire in an unrelated case where Mario's elderly mother was in the jury pool and had said that Judge Jourdan had not been fair to her son and Judge Jourdan was outraged.

On June 30, 1995 Mario's Belated Motion to Correct Errors was denied. Mario sought to obtain the record of trial from the Clerk and from John Marnocha, but was unsuccessful. Having exhausted every avenue to obtain the record to prepare the brief to appeal issues from trial and from the Belated Motion to Correct Errors proceeding Mario filed a pro se petition in the Court of Appeals seeking permission to raise the issues from trial and from the Belated Motion to Correct Errors proceedings in a petition for post-conviction relief. On December 12, 1995 the Indiana Court of Appeals, citing; Logan v. Cruse/Davis v. State granted Mario permission to raise the issues from

trial and from the Belated Motion to Correct Errors in his petition for post conviction relief and dismissed his appeal.

On January 5, 1996 Judge Jourdan granted Mario's motion for change of judge and named a panel of three judges. On January 17, 1996 Mario strikes Judge Albright. On January 19, 1996 Judge Jourdan vacated her recusal and reassumed jurisdiction. On January 29, 1996 Mario objected to Judge Jourdan reassuming jurisdiction by filing his Motion for Contempt for Refusal to comply with Order of the Court of Appeals and filed a complaint with the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications. On February 20, 1996 on her own motion Judge Jourdan recuses herself.

After a while of filing motions back and forth St. Joseph County gets tired and decided to play hot potato with Mario's criminal case. On April 25, 1996 St. Joseph County sends it to Elkhart County, a neighboring city. It is then given an Elkhart County Case # 20D01-9605-CF-0045. On August 2, 1996 the Elkhart Court denied Mario's Post Conviction petition for reasons previously known to him during both of the appeals and were not included in either appeals and are thus waived or previously ruled on in the Belated Motion to Correct Errors or were raised in the initial appeal of the conviction. On September 3, 1996 Mario filed his praecipe. The Clerk of the Court of Appeals refused to accept matters filed under the Elkhart County Case number and in the confusion over which case # to use Mario's appeal was dismissed.

In 1997, a Chicago newspaper covering Mario's case determined that Mario's trial judge's daughter had been sexually assaulted by a black man before Mario's trial and that she had instructed her daughter not to date black men.

In 1999, Mario's wife of two years, San Juana Sims and their Pastor Rev. Samuel Chase, met with newly elected St. Joseph Prosecutor Chris Toth and were told that outgoing St. Joseph Prosecutor Michael P. Barnes and his Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Marnocha had destroyed drums of legal files/evidence of the fabrication of Mario's criminal case. A member of the community named George also met with Chris Toth, Pastor Chase and San Juana Sims and all were told of Barnes animosity to Mario and of the destruction of exculpatory evidence. On May 22, 2001 Mario filed his Motion to take Depositions at Public Expense seeking to take the depositions of 24 people including St. Joseph County Prosecutor Chris Toth, former elected St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael P. Barnes and former Deputy Prosecutor John Marnocha regarding the newly discovered issue of the bad faith destruction of the materially exculpatory evidence of the fabrication of the case against him and Judge Jourdan regarding the issue of her bias and prejudice against Mario.

On May 24, 2001, Mario filed a Request for Issuance of Subpoenas and an affidavit seeking to subpoena 33 people at a post-conviction relief evidentiary hearing, including Michael P. Barnes, John Marnocha, and Judge Jeanne Jourdan.

On June 19, 2001 Mario filed his Motion to Compel South Bend Police Sgt. George Haywood to answer the request for admissions concerning the fabrication of the trial testimony of felony witness Lionel Williams, Petitioner's Ex parte Motion for Order Authorizing Experts at Public Expense seeking to retain the services of Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz, of Law Professors Keith A. Findley
or John A. Pray from the University of Wisconsin Madison Innocent Project.

On September 10, 2001 the post-conviction court set a hearing on pending motions for September 25, 2001. On September 20, 2001 the court entered an order vacating the September 25th hearing and that hearing was continued until December 17, 2001 because Mario Sims had filed a Verified Petition for Appointment of Special Prosecutor where in Mario Sims alleged that the elected St. Joseph County Prosecutor, Chris Toth, became a witness for Mario Sims on the issue of the bad faith destruction of the materially exculpatory evidence and the State filed a response to that request indicating it had no objection to the appointment of a special prosecutor. The Court granted Mario's petition for a Special Prosecutor and on October 4, 2001 appointed Jennifer Evans.

On December 27, 2001 the Court heard oral argument on the pending motions and on January 25, 2002 the Court entered an order denying all discovery motions and again denying the issuance of subpoenas. On January 28, 2002 the post conviction Court issued its Procedural Order setting forth its determinations that pursuant to Rule 1, Section 9(b) of the Post-Conviction Relief Rules the matter be submitted by affidavit and granting Mario permission to have this matter heard as a writ of habeas corpus and a post-conviction petition and they set a hearing for April 17, 2002 further ordering that no testimony be allowed, but that the parties submit affidavits and argue the law at the hearing.

On April 17, 2002 oral arguments on the writ and post-conviction petition were heard. During the hearing the State stipulated that the issue of the bad faith destruction of the materially exculpatory evidence was newly discovered. Yet Mario did not invite error of not supporting the issue of bad faith destruction of exculpatory evidence with the affidavit of Chris Toth. Ordinarily counsel is not subject to being called as a witness. There are exceptions however, such as when Counsel is believed to have material information that cannot be disclosed otherwise. Toth, Barnes and Marnocha were the only sources that could have provided the information on the bad faith destruction of the exculpatory evidence and Toth had already agreed to recuse himself thereby becoming a witness for Mario.

On July 11, 2002 Mario's writ and post-conviction petition was denied. On July 25, 2002 Mario filed his Notice of Appeal on August 19, 2002. On August 23, 2002 Mario notified the Court that further developments in the form of a factual determination made by the Elkhart Circuit Court showed that the State had knowingly used false testimony at trial to gain Mario's conviction.

Now after all that what else is left to do? Mario has exhausted all Court avenues and continues to fight for his freedom. Recently in September 2002 a brief was filed hoping to overturn his conviction.

Not even the appearance of justice was shown here. The Star Chamber has served to deny Mario Sims justice. The Court should reverse the conviction in this case and remand the case with instructions to enter an order acquitting, Mario L. Sims, Sr.

At present Mario L. Sims, Sr. sits in the Westville Correctional in the State of Indiana awaiting a response from the courts on his brief. Mario Sims’ address is:

Mario Sims #843738
Westville Correctional Facility
P.O. BOX 473 EC-B1
Westville, IN 46628