By Lasca Randels
SYRACUSE — A Syracuse man has been arrested following a report from the Department of Child Services about alleged child molestation.
Erwin Frank Obando, 59, 1014 N. Huntington St., Syracuse, is charged with child molesting, a level 4 felony; and sexual misconduct with a minor, a level 5 felony.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Dec. 12, 2019, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the Department of Child Services about a molestation that occurred in the county.
The Indiana Department of Child Services interviewed a minor on Dec. 3, 2019, about the case. A caseworker spoke with the youth, who described being sexually touched and fondled by Obando during the past seven years.
The youth said the abuse began at the age of about 7 years old and involved Obando giving back massages and pulling down the youth’s pants.
The most recent time Obando allegedly touched the child was in November 2019.
The youth described being afraid of Obando and unable to deny him because he’s a big guy. Obando told the youth not to tell the minor’s mother about the abuse.
During the November incident, the minor reported pushing Obando off and leaving the room while Obando was kissing the minor.
An officer with the Indiana State Police interviewed Obando, who recalled an incident while he was undergoing medical treatment and taking pain medication. Obando said he was in bed and said the minor approached him for a back rub.
Obando said he rubbed the minor’s back the best he could due to the pain he was in. He said the minor leaned over to kiss him before leaving the room. Obando said he turned toward the minor to return the kiss but initially said he did not know if he kissed the minor’s face or another area.
Obando was booked at the Kosciusko County Jail June 9 on a $25,250 surety and cash bond.