Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Chesterton man pleads to child molesting charge

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A Chesterton man originally charged with two counts of Class A felony child molesting--each punishable by a term of 20 to 50 years--would spend one year in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC), under a plea agreement with the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Mikkal J. Valent, 33, with a listed address of 418 S. Fourth St., was charged in March with molesting a girl younger than 14, following an investigation by the Chesterton Police Department.

Under the deal, Valent would plead guilty to a single count of child molesting, amended to a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years, with a recommended sentence of eight years in the DOC, seven of which would be suspended and served on formal probation.

Valent would be eligible for release from the DOC after serving half that sentence, or six months.

Under the deal, Valent would also be ordered to register as a sex offender and to submit to HIV testing.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by 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 affidavit. 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 initiated 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.”

Valent’s sister, however, and the alleged victim’s friend, advised that she saw Valent “laying on top” of the girl,” that the two were kissing, and that the girl and Valent “were boyfriend and girlfriend for about a week.”

 

Posted 6/16/2014