WARSAW — Jonathen R. Lovelace, 23, 2669 West CR 700S, Claypool, was found guilty of child molestation, a level 4 felony, on Jan. 18, and was sentenced on that conviction today, Feb. 16.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Oct. 31, officers with the Warsaw Police Department spoke with the child’s parents. The parents advised that Lovelace was at their residence on Oct. 27 and playing with their daughter.
After Lovelace left the residence, the daughter told her mother that Lovelace made her put her hand on his penis. The mother had observed the two under the daughter’s bed playing and told them to get out from under the bed.
A caseworker with Child Protective Services spoke with the daughter. The child advised that Lovelace and she were playing a game under the bed called beautiful girls and handsome boys. Lovelace pulled his pants down and placed her hand on his penis. Lovelace then told the child not to tell her mother because they both would get in trouble.
On Jan. 17 a jury trial began for the State vs. Lovelace. After over five hours of deliberation, and a review of the victim’s and defendant’s statements, the jury found Lovelace guilty. Consequently, the jury also found Lovelace to be guilty of being a habitual offender, having two unrelated felonies of which he was convicted.
At the sentencing the victim’s mother gave a victim’s impact statement. “I wish I could put into words the pain we’ve experienced,” she began. “We brought him into our home…gave him the consistent family he needed. [She] looked up to him and loved him unconditionally…this pain will be there of the rest of her life.”
The mother went on to say, “I know deep down you [Lovelace] are also devastated and heart broken.”
Deputy Prosecutor Katy Hampton asked the court to show Lovelace no leniency stating, “Mr. Lovelace was in a position of trust and he abused that trust.” Hampton also expressed that the presentence investigation report indicated Lovelace was at a high risk of reoffending according to a rating tool the court uses.
Lovelace’s attorney Matthew Buehler asked the court to understand that Lovelace hasn’t had the best life, drawing attention to his admittance of substance abuse, lack of a structured home and family life and time spent in group homes. Despite his record, Lovelace cooperated with investigators and willingly participated in the investigation.
Judge David Cates agreed with Buehler in respect to Lovelace being a “young man,” and stated, “I certainly hope it’s not too late [for you to get help].”
In regards to count I child molesting, a level 4 felony, Judge Cates sentences Lovelace to 10 years at the Indiana Department of Corrections with two years suspended to be served on probation. In regards to the habitual offender sentence enhancement, Lovelace was sentenced to an additional six years at the IDOC to be served consecutively to the former sentence.
Lovelace will serve as a credit restricted felon, receiving one day credit for every six served. He is also required to register as a sex offender.
Lovelace will receive 107 days jail time credit for time already served.