Chesterton Tribune

Man on probation for child solicitation charged with misconduct with a minor

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A Valparaiso man sentenced to formal probation last month after pleading guilty to child solicitation has been charged with sexual misconduct with a minor, the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said.

On Thursday, Mark E. Laing, 24, of 411 Salt Creek Parkway, was charged with sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class B felony punishable by a term of six to 20 years.

The charge stems from an incident which allegedly occurred in March but was only reported on May 30, three weeks after Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford sentenced Laing to three years of formal probation, minus time already served.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Officer Paul Czupryn of the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, on May 30 the mother of a girl who attends Chesterton High School—older than 14 but younger than 16—reported that Laing was a friend of her older daughter and that he had admitted to her that he had “inappropriately” touched her younger sister.

For her part, the girl advised that “several months ago” she had been in communication with Laing over XBox, that Laing had specifically asked her how old she was, and that the day after that communication Laing had picked her up at CHS and driven her to the Chustack public fishing area on C.R. 600N west of Ind. 149. There Laing had fondled her, she advised.

Laing admitted doing so when interviewed at his residence, said that he recalled the incident as having occurred in March, and added that the “encounter was consensual,” Czupryn stated in his affidavit.

“Laing began to prepare a written statement for me, when his mother convinced him to shred the document and not cooperate,” Czupryn stated. “I thanked Laing and left the residence.”

Laing was originally charged with sexual misconduct with a minor and child solicitation in connection with an incident in May 2010, when a Valparaiso girl reported that Laing had kissed and fondled her and sent her inappropriate text messages. Laing pleaded guilty to child solicitation and in exchange the charge of sexual misconduct with a minor was dismissed. On May 9, Bradford sentenced Laing to probation and ordered him to complete Project Pro sex offender treatment and register as a sex offender.




Posted 6/21/2011