resident has been sentenced to one year in the Indiana Department of
Correction (DOC) after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of child
Mikkal Valent, 33,
with a listed address of 418 S. Fourth St., was originally charged with one
count of Class A child molesting, punishable by a term of 20 to 50 years.
Under an agreement with the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,
Valent agreed to plead guilty and the charge was reduced to a Class C
felony, punishable by a term of two to eight years.
Last week Porter
Superior Court Judge Mary Harper sentenced Valent to eight years in the DOC,
with seven years suspended and to be served on formal probation.
Harper also ordered
Valent to register as a sex offender and submit to HIV testing.
In her sentencing
order, Harper made note of one aggravating factor: that the “act was
knowingly committed in the presence or within hearing of a child who was
less than 18.”
Harper also made
note of three mitigating factors: that Valent has no history of criminal or
delinquent behavior; that he has admitted his guilt; and that he is a
disabled military veteran.
According to the
probable cause affidavit by Chesterton Police Det. Lt. Donald Maloney, on
March 3 the father of a girl younger than 14 checked his daughter’s cell
phone after she had spent a weekend at a friend’s home On a calendar entry
dated March 1, the father found the following: “Mikkal James Valent <3, Me
and my best friend’s brother started dating today. I love him sooo much.”
The father spoke
with his daughter, concluded that there had been sexual contact between the
girl and Valent -- a 33 year-old man -- and reported the incident to the CPD.
interview with the girl was conducted with Maloney and an investigator with
the Dunebrook Child Advocacy Center, Maloney stated in his affadavit. In
that interview, the girl advised the following: that she and her friend had
been FaceTiming with Valent -- her friend’s half-brother -- and that she
herself had been texting him and “thinking about him more”; that on Feb. 28
Valent picked her and her friend up from school and then together the three
of them went to the mall and then to her friend’s home; that she and Valent
were watching a movie while lying next to each other on a futon and that at
some point he intiated intimate contact with her.
On March 20,
Maloney interviewed Valent, who denied having intimate contact with the girl
and stated “that he had no relationship with (the girl) and that he only
hung out with her one time.”