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December 12, 2012

Accused child molester waives jury trial

Dec. 19 bench trial set for William Roy Wilson

LOGANSPORT — The 25-year-old Logansport man accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a four-year old girl will place his fate in the hands of a judge rather than a jury.

William Roy Wilson was arrested in May 2010, two weeks after a four-year-old girl was abducted from her home and reportedly strangled and sexually assaulted in a nearby garage. On Tuesday, Cass Superior II Judge Rick Maughmer granted the motion filed by Wilson’s attorney, Jim Brugh, to lift a scheduled jury trial in favor of a trial before the judge.

Wilson faces two counts of child molesting, a class A felony, burglary resulting in bodily injury, a class A felony; criminal confinement, a class B felony, strangulation, a class D felony, and battery resulting in bodily injury, a class D felony.

Brugh had filed the motion to lift the jury trial Dec. 5, and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Swaim said at the final pretrial conference Tuesday that she had agreed to the request.

Maughmer he said he expected the trial to last three to four days.

But Brugh said he wanted to move the trial date, because one of his key witnesses, Dr. Frank Krauss, a Muncie area psychologist, is unable to appear on Dec. 19.  

“That’s the heart of my case,” Brugh said.

However, Swaim objected to moving the trial date, and Maughmer agreed to keep the originally scheduled date.

“This case has been pending long enough,” Maughmer said.

Maughmer said Swaim and Brugh would have to work together to preserve Krauss’s testimony for the court.

Swaim said the prosecution have approximately 20 witnesses for trial.

Before the trial begins, Brugh said he still needed to interview the victim, who is now 6 years old.

“I have always intended to save that last piece of discovery to the end,” Brugh said.

At the beginning of the trial, Maughmer will also hear the state’s case asking to take statements from the victim into evidence.

In a motion filed Dec. 6, Swaim wrote that the victim’s statements should be taken into evidence because they “show sufficient indications of reliability by the time they were made, the content and the circumstances of the statements.”

Asked about the possibility of a plea agreement, Brugh said he was still talking with Swaim.

“Both sides still are talking to each other about the case” Brugh said.  

The class A felony charges carry a sentence of 20 to 50 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The class B felonies carry a sentence of six to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, and the class D felonies carry a sentence of six months to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Wilson remains in jail on a bond of $500,000 cash or $1 million surety.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

 

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