By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — A Warsaw man will serve six years in prison after molesting a child.
Nathan Lynn Chupp, 34, Warsaw, was charged with child molesting, a level 4 felony. A second child molesting charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Chupp was sentenced in Kosciusko Superior Court 1 on Monday, May 17.
On Jan. 7, a Kosciusko County Sheriff’s officer responded to a report of a molestation that occurred on Jan. 4. The child’s parents told the officer their child said Chupp touched them inappropriately.
On Jan. 12, Safe Harbor Advocacy Center representatives interviewed the child, who reported being touched while in a barn on Chupp’s property. The child told representatives how Chupp touched them and that Chupp made them inappropriately touch him.
According to court documents, the officer also spoke with an unnamed individual who told the officer the child said Chupp had inappropriately touched them. The child’s parents confronted Chupp about the allegations and Chupp initially denied molesting the child.
However, Chupp approached the child’s parents on Jan. 7 and admitted that the child’s account was true. On Jan. 13, an officer interviewed Chupp, who admitted to having inappropriate contact with the child but denied having the child touch him inappropriately.
During court proceedings, the child’s mother testified in court. She said the molestations have changed her family’s life greatly and that her child talks about the incidents daily.
“The mental anguish is intense,” said the mother. “We let (the child) talk about what happened so (they) can process it. But no amount of time in prison can fix what Nathan Chupp has done. Just because someone is weak and small doesn’t mean he had the right to carry out these depravities.”
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Sobek said sending Chupp to the Indiana Department of Corrections for the sentence is absolutely appropriate and emphasized implementing a maximum sentence for Chupp.
Defense Attorney Greg Cranston said Chupp has been cooperative with police officers throughout the investigation and that he has accepted responsibility for his actions. He noted Chupp is at low-risk to reoffend and that he has a safety plan established through his doctor and church to help him once he is out of prison.
Chupp also read a statement aloud in court, apologizing to the child and their family, as well as his own family for his actions.
“I wish I could take it back, and fix everything and put it back together,” said Chupp. “I damaged my family and hurt their trust, but they still support me. I’m not going to give excuses and I want to continue seeking treatment.”
Kosciusko Superior Court One Judge Karen Springer noted that according to police reports, Chupp was not immediately forthcoming about the incidents. She focused on a statement from Chupp in the reports on how he didn’t want to be treated like others who committed similar crimes and that he hoped to continue treatment while staying in the community.
“I don’t know why you think you deserve special treatment,” said Judge Springer. “Because you do not. It’s in my power to make sure there are no other victims.”
For child molesting, Judge Springer sentenced Chupp to 10 years in DoC, with six years executed and four years on probation. As part of his sentence, Chupp must register as a sex offender. A no-contact order is also in place between Chupp and the victim.
After sentencing, Chupp was immediately remanded into custody.