A Linton man arrested in late September and charged with child molesting has been sentenced to 10 years in prison with four suspended.
Edward Duane Hall, 30, of Linton, formerly of Bloomfield, was arrested on September 27 by Sgt. Logan Hobbs of the Linton Police Department and booked into jail with bond set at $40,000. He didn’t post bond and by mid-November, he had entered into a negotiated plea agreement to plead guilty to one count of child molestation, a Level 4 felony.
Hall was arrested within hours after Sgt. Hobbs was dispatched to Greene County General Hospital about a case of possible molestation involving a three-year-old child. Court records and the record at the jail showed Hall with a home address on East State Road 58 in Bloomfield but information in the probable cause affidavit indicates Hall was living with family members at a home in Linton when the incident occurred and at the time of his arrest.
Hobbs reported that he talked to the mother of the alleged victim who said she was at her home in Linton around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 26, when two of her young children ran into her room to tell her what they had just seen Hall do to another young child, a sibling that was just three years old. The children described inappropriate sexual acts.
Hobbs included details of the alleged incident in his affidavit - not included in this or previous stories.
The child was transferred from Greene County General to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis where a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination (SANE) was performed and evidence collected.
During the course of his investigation at the hospital and at the home where the incident allegedly took place, Hobbs collected items of clothing that the child was wearing during the incident.
The two children, who had run to tell someone what had happened, were taken to Susie’s Place in Bloomington for forensic interviews. Hobbs said the interviewer was unable to establish an understandable line of communication with one due to their verbal abilities and the other was not willing to discuss the incident at that time.
Hall was first interviewed at the police department then interviewed again later at the sheriff’s department. Sgt. Hobbs reported that Hall first told one story and Hobbs told him the story did not seem believable.
When given a chance to be honest, Hall allegedly admitted a small moment of weakness and this was the first time he had done anything like this with a child though he had thought about it a few times in the past. Hobbs said Hall repeatedly said he felt bad and was sorry, and signed a note of apology.
During a third interview, Hall allegedly offered some more details about the incident.
Greene County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Keven McIntosh filed a criminal case against Hall and when he appeared in Greene Superior Court for an initial hearing, he was charged with child molesting – a Level 1 felony, child molesting involving foundling or touching with a child under the age of 14 – a Level 4 felony, and performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor – a Level 6 felony.
Hall, who was represented by Deputy Public Defender Ellen Martin, was back in court on Thursday, December 20, to change his plea and be sentenced.
The terms of the negotiated plea agreement were approved by Judge Dena Martin and Hall was convicted of count two, child molesting, the Level 4 felony. The other two counts were dismissed.
Hall was sentenced to 10 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections (DOC) with four of those years suspended. He’ll spend those on supervised probation following his release from prison and will be required to comply with numerous special probation conditions for sex offenders, and comply with mandatory registration as a sex offender.
Hall was given credit for 85 days already served on the day of his sentencing and will be given good time credit for those days and future days if eligible. Since his conviction is for a Level 4 felony, he will be required to serve at least 75 percent of the prison time, even with good time credit, which would be 4.5 years in DOC.