WARSAW — Despite Timothy Eugene Rottger’s apology to the court and victim, Kosciusko County Superior 1 Judge David Cates wasn’t convinced the 44-year-old is taking responsibility for his actions.
Rottger, 10018 N. 400E, Syracuse, was sentenced for rape, a level 3 felony, Thursday, March 14. The crime occurred Dec. 7, 2017, at his Syracuse home.
“I appreciate what you told me and I’m happy to hear you have family support. I also agree with your attorney this is not the most aggressive offense,” said Cates after Rottger offered his apology to the court for “troubling the court and for having to deal with something like this,” and offering an apology to his victim, stating he knew his apology could not change what happened.
Cates sentenced Rottger to nine years at the Indiana Department of Corrections, suspended two years to be served on probation. The sentence was in line with the plea agreement entered. A level 3 felony carries a three to 16 year sentence range. Rottger was also ordered to register as a sex offender in accordance to state law. He also addressed Rottger in a stern voice “simply put no means no.”
Brad Voelz, chief deputy prosecutor, read a victim impact statement from the female victim, who was not present in the courtroom. In her statement, the victim stated she is getting “fresh air and is no longer a victim, but a survivor.” she noted how everything she took for granted was taken away and her world changed forever. She noted people have told her “if you hadn’t been drunk,” so much would not have happened. However, she has now changed her thinking it was not her fault, drunk or not, she did not consent.
She noted she has so many questions that will never be answered and how in the months following the attack she struggled. “I have lost every single person in my life,” Voelz read from her statement, “I pushed them away,” She also noted she lost her home, her career and almost her life. She related about having nightmares and being a woman very few people recognize. Her hope is to move from being a victim to survivor to being a warrior.
Anthony Churchward, attorney for Rottger, spoke to the court about Rottger’s significant criminal history, most of which were committed before he turned 25. The offenses noted were driving while suspended, theft and resisting law enforcement, along with several possession of marijuana charges. Churchward noted none of these charges were violent in nature, but the rape charge is the “most serious.” He noted Rottger’s substance abuse which led to his conduct on the charge.
“He was drinking heavily that day,” Churchward stated, noting those who know him know his actions were not his normal behavior. It was noted many family and friends were in the courtroom, including his former wife, his son, parents and in-laws who have been offering him support before and during this process.
Rottger was charged after he raped a female who was staying at his residence the night of Dec. 7. Court documents state the victim fell asleep in the guest bedroom of the home shared by Rottger and his wife and was later woken by Rottger having sexual intercourse with her. The victim was able to force Rottger off her and call 911 to report the assault. Rottger pleaded with her not to call police.