Griffith man sentenced for child molesting
Post-Tribune staff report August 17, 2012 3:46PM
Updated: September 19, 2012 6:08AM
Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Ross Boswell imposed a four-year sentence for a 75-year-old Griffith man convicted during a jury trial of child molesting and sexual battery.
Delford Willis Jones, who was convicted July 17 of the charges, will serve two years in Lake County Community Corrections’ day-reporting program, which will allow him to help care for his wife who suffered a stroke about four years ago. The remaining two years of his sentence will be served on probation.
The girl’s mother read a letter in which the teen said she felt Jones should be punished for what he had done and that she had trusted him. Evidence presented by deputy prosecutor DeKeyu Sumner showed Jones picked up the girl in a bear hug and tried to kiss her in October 2010 at Jones’ home. The girl’s mother had been a caregiver for Jones’ wife.
Defense attorney John Cantrell presented evidence that his client has serious health issues and sought counseling for depression after he was charged in criminal court.
Jones has no prior criminal record.
Sumner suggested the split sentence in light of the child’s young age.
Jones must register as a sex offender for life. He told the judge he was a chaplain with the VFW for 37 years and volunteered his time to help others. “If I have offended anybody, it was not to hurt anyone,” he said.