Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Portage child molester gets 118 years

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A Portage man convicted in December on nine counts of molesting four boys over a period of years has been sentenced to more than a century in prison.

On Tuesday, Christopher W. Truman, 39, with a listed address in the 1800 block of Center Street, was sentenced to 118 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.

In her sentencing order, Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper noted the following aggravating factors:

* One of the Truman’s victims is “mildly mentally retarded.”

* Truman molested multiple victims.

* The molestations occurred with “great frequency.” One of the victims testified that Truman molested him more than 600 times; another, that Truman molested him more than 1,000 times.

Harper also noted two mitigating factors:

* Incarceration will prove a “hardship” to Truman’s wife, as he’s her sole support.

* Truman has no history of criminal convictions.

On Dec. 19 Truman was convicted of 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 victims were younger than 14 at the time; the fourth was younger than 16.

The investigation began on Aug. 4, 2013, when the parents of two of the 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 boys 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 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 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 victim--now an adult--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.”

 

Posted 2/26/2014