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Governor denies clemency for Bloomington man in 1983 rape case

Mike Floyd will stay in prison until 2037
Mike Floyd in 1983 and 2018
Posted at 1:35 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 21:23:30-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has denied clemency for a Bloomington man convicted in a 1983 rape case.

Mike Floyd wants out of prison, and says he’s served nearly 40 years for a crime he says he didn’t commit. Floyd filed a clemency petition in September 2017. In 2018, the Indiana Parole Board held a clemency hearing on the Floyd case.

Floyd appeared via video conference from Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, where he is serving a 110-year sentence for rape, conspiracy and criminal confinement.

“I deserve to be set free,” Floyd told the Indiana Parole Board in 2018. “I had no criminal record. I didn’t even have a speeding ticket prior to this case.”

At the clemency hearing, Floyd questioned why Ron Deckard, an acquaintance who admitted guilt in the 1983 case, was released from prison nearly 20 years ago.

As WRTV Investigates reported, Deckard reached a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty in the incident to criminal confinement and conspiracy, and in exchange, prosecutors dismissed the rape charge.

Deckard served 15 years in prison and was released in 1999, according to the Indiana Department of Correction.

“I’ve served 35 years and that is a long time,” Floyd told the parole board in 2018. “Nobody was killed. I’m sorry for what happened to the victim, but any violence done in this case the evidence shows it was clearly done by Ron Deckard and Ron Deckard alone.”

Deckard pulled a pellet gun, had her pull over, put the woman in a trunk and a placed a hat over her face, according to court documents.

Deckard drove to a secluded area, court records show, where the woman was taken out of the car and raped.

The woman later told police she couldn’t see due to the hat over her face, but heard Floyd’s voice and identified him as the rapist.

In 2018, the parole board considered Floyd’s clemency request, as well as a 3-page letter from the prosecutor who helped put him away.

Former prosecutor Don Hickman said another sample from inside the victim was the same blood type as Floyd — Type O.

The Indiana Parole Board made a recommendation to Governor Holcomb, who issued his decision on Jan. 26, 2021.

The Governor denied clemency because of the nature of the offense, his criminal history and the best interest of society, records show.

"It's unfortunate that our justice system allows a convicted rapist to continue to put the victim through mental anguish almost 40 years after the fact, but Gov. Holcomb has done the right thing by denying Floyd's petition for clemency and finally putting an end to her nightmare,” said former prosecutor Don Hickman in response to the decision.

Floyd can apply for clemency again in 2023, but otherwise, he will be in prison until 2037.

WRTV Investigates is working to get a response from Floyd, but the Indiana Department of Correction does not provide statements for inmates.

WRTV Investigates spoke with Floyd from inside the prison in 2018. He denied raping the woman, who WRTV is not naming, back in 1983.

“No I didn’t," Floyd said. "What happened to her is a tragedy. She did not deserve what happened to her, but I'm not responsible for that."

Several of Floyd's supporters spoke to the Indiana Parole Board, including his brother and mother.

“If I thought for one minute he was guilty, he wouldn’t have made it to the prison,” his mother, Ruth Floyd, said. “I just pray to God you let your conscience be your guide.”

Former IU administrator Don Cross also spoke to the Indiana Parole Board on Floyd's behalf.

“Because the rape kit has been destroyed, he has no recourse now,” Cross said. “You’re it.”

As WRTV Investigates reported in February 2018, Bedford Police destroyed the rape kit in 1995.

“Why would you deny a person an opportunity to prove their innocence?” Floyd asked.

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