A Starke Circuit Court trial that began Monday morning has concluded with Starke County Prosecutor, Nicholas A. Bourff successfully prosecuting Jerry Leonard of child molesting.
According to a press release from the Starke County Prosecutor’s office, on Thursday, January 11th, a 12-person jury deliberated about one hour before returning guilty verdicts on two counts of child molesting as Class A Felonies and two counts of performing a sexual act in front of a child as Class D Felonies.
The report indicates that the Class A Felonies carry the potential penalty of twenty to fifty years of incarceration on Counts I and II and the Class D Felonies carry a potential penalty of six months to three years of incarceration on counts III and IV. It also includes that the time frame alleged in the charging information occurred prior to the change in the Indiana code in July of 2014.
The release goes on to say that the victim moved out of state after the incidents were disclosed to the police and extensive arrangements were necessary to get them back to Indiana for trial.
Prosecutor Bourff presented the evidence from multiple witnesses, including the victim and Detective Joshua Maller of the Indiana State Police. Detective Maller reportedly testified that he interviewed the defendant about the sexual allegation against him and the defendant gave a recorded statement confessing to those allegations.
Sentencing has been scheduled for January 31st at 11 a.m. and an alternate date of February 1st at 10:30 a.m. has also been established.