Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Bond set at $1 million for accused Portage child molester

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If Christopher W. Truman were convicted on all nine felony child-molesting and sexual-misconduct counts filed against him this week, he could be sentenced to a maximum term of 210 years.

In the meantime, if Truman wants out of jail, he’s going to have to find a way to post a $1 million bond.

Truman, 38, of 1896 Center St. in Portage, was charged on Tuesday, after four boys and one 21-year-old man accused him of molesting them on multiple occasions, many of them over the span of years, often at motels in Portage.

Truman was charged with the following:

•Three counts of child molesting, filed as a Class A felony, punishable by a term of 20 to 50 years.

•One count of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class B felony, punishable by a term of six to 20 years.

•Two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor filed as a Class C felony, punishable by a term of two to eight years.

•And three counts of child molesting, filed as a Class C felony.

Three of the alleged victims were younger than 14 at the time; the fourth was younger than 16.

The investigation began on Aug. 4, when the parents of two of the alleged victims confronted Truman at a home in Valparaiso, where he was visiting friends. “Upon being confronted, Truman ran inside the residence and locked the door,” according to the probable cause affidavit filed by Det. Cpl. John Gildein of the Porter County Sheriff’s Police.

An officer dispatched to the scene subsequently persuaded Truman to leave the residence and accept a ride to the Sheriff’s Department, where he agreed to speak with Gildein. Truman told Gildein that he would commonly rent a room at a Portage motel and bring one of the alleged victim’s with him to swim, that the two “would watch wrestling together in the hotel room and wrestle one another,” and that, while wrestling, he “possibly” had intimate contact with the boy’s body.

When interviewed, the four alleged victims gave more particular accounts. One—whose father has known Truman “for many years” and who was close enough to Truman to call him “uncle”—reported that he awoke to find himself partially unclothed and Truman fondling him. “Since that day, he has had bad dreams about the incident and thinks about it a lot,” Gildein stated in his affidavit. The boy “said he did not tell anyone about this incident until recently.”

Another of the alleged victims told Gildein that Truman had had intimate contact with him “over 100 times,” usually at a Portage motel, “until several months ago when he told his mother that he no longer wished to go,” Gildein stated.

A third alleged victim—now 21—told Gildein that he had not had “ a great family life and did not have a father figure,” that “Truman stepped in and attempted to be a father figure,” and that at some point Truman began fondling him. The man also said that Truman “would pay him in U.S. currency for touching him and to attempt to keep him quiet,” that eventually he tried to tell a relative that Truman was abusing him but that the relative “brushed the allegations aside” on the ground that he “was only seeking attention,” and that finally he told Truman that “he did not want him touching him any longer because he liked girls and was not gay.”

On Thursday, Porter Circuit Court Mary Harper set bond for Truman at $1 million and scheduled his trial for Feb. 4.

Posted 9/7/2012