Chesterton Tribune

Valparaiso girl made ward of state after admitting battery on boy

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A 15-year-old Valparaiso girl who admitted participating in the sexual battery of a special-needs boy in April has been ordered confined to a juvenile correctional facility.

On Monday, Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper adopted the recommendation of Juvenile Court Magistrate Edward Nemeth, who found that the girl—14 at the time of the incident—should serve an undetermined period of time “in any correctional facility for children” maintained by the Indiana Department of Correction.

The girl initially pleaded guilty to delinquency charges of criminal confinement, a Class B felony when committed by an adult and punishable by a term of six to 20 years; and to battery, a Class misdemeanor when committed by an adult and punishable by up to a year in jail.

The girl subsequently attempted to withdraw her plea but Nemeth rejected the motion.

In his order on Monday Nemeth noted the following:

•The girl has a prior history of juvenile adjudications: auto theft; resisting law enforcement; and criminal conversion.

•While on formal supervised probation, the girl “continued to leave the home of the guardians without permission and commit new offenses.”

•She “has run from her home at least five times in the past six months,” “has placed herself in dangerous situations,” and “has cut off the ankle monitor within two to three weeks of its placement.”

•The girl “has been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and has refused to take the prescribed medications while in the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center.”

•“The court finds that continuation in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child and placement is in the juvenile’s best interests because numerous and reasonable services have been offered to this family to prevent placement of the juvenile. These services have been unsuccessful and a secure facility is needed to protect her and the community.”

Charged as an adult in the incident was April Lynn Kuchta, 16, of 353 Roseland Terrace in Valparaiso. She has been charged with criminal deviate conduct, criminal confinement, intimidation, sexual battery, and battery. The most serious charge, criminal deviate conduct, is a Class A felony punishable by a term of 20 to 50 years.

According to Valparaiso Police, on Saturday, April 9, Kuchta and the girl lured a 17-year-old boy to a residence in the 300 block of Roseland Terrace, where they threatened him with a knife, handcuffed him, and then sexually battered him.

The victim eventually succeeded in leaving the residence, returned home, and reported the incident to the VPD, police said.



Posted 6/7/2011