Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Accused child molester sentenced

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A Chesterton resident has been sentenced to one year in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of child molesting.

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.

A subsequent 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.”

 

Posted 7/22/2014