Joshua Julian Surface, 42, West Perry Street, Warsaw, was sentenced today to 20 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections on child molesting charges.
He was charged with three counts, each a class A felony. A plea agreement dropped the charges to class B felonies. The agreement also stipulated the sentence for each count be served concurrent.
Kosciusko County Superior Court Judge Duane Huffer handed down the 20-year sentence for each count with credit given for 476 days jail time. Surface will also be given a one day credit for every six days served.
The mother of the young victim read from a prepared statement. She told the court the crime has been life altering for both, her and her daughter. As a mother, she stated, she has been robbed of time with her daughter and Surface has stolen the child’s self esteem and loss of the child’s immaturity. She added, “The victim has been forced to grow up quickly and has suffered mental and behavioral issues that she never had before.”
As a mother, she has had sleepless nights and regrets for introducing Surface to her daughter. “I will carry the hurt the rest of my life and I will never be able to restore my little girl’s life. He gave us a life sentence.”
Mike Miner, deputy prosecuting attorney, added he rarely requests the maximum sentence, but in this case it is justified.
Scott Lennox, counsel for Surface, asked the court to suspend a portion of his client’s sentence to make a transition back into society or a monitoring program for re-entering society.
“It breaks my heart,” stated Huffer, who is aware of the victim’s troubles. He stated the victim has had a “rough life” and called her a “sweet girl.” The judge continued, ” You were in a position of trust. You are the father of two daughters. I can’t imagine any father wanting this to happen to his own daughter.”
Huffer said Surface has been in his court many times and he once awarded custody of his child to him. “I had a lot of hope at that time. That hope is shattered …” Huffer also alluded to Surface’s long record in the justice system as pointed out in the pre-sentence investigation report.
Surface made no comments during the sentencing hearing.