Porter County Courts
August 28, 2012 5:32PM
Updated: August 28, 2012 5:50PM
Porter County Courts
Trial opens for accused child molester
The alleged molesting of a mentally disabled girl came to light when her daycare teacher asked her what would happen the rest of the day, and the girl described a sexual act, deputy prosecutor Rebecca Buitendorp told jurors Tuesday during opening statements.
Buitendorp said that Valparaiso resident Arthur Guittierrez, 32, told the victim’s mother, “who is going to believe a retard” and kept pressuring the mother to talk to the girl and change her story, even after he was arrested.
Evidence shown this week will include videotaped accounts, including one where the mother tried to get the girl the change the story.
Defense attorney Robert Harper said that the alleged victim tends to put herself into a story, “and [she] will do that about anything.”
Harper said that not only did the Department of Child Services case worker not record the first conversation with the girl, she didn’t question the alleged victim when the girl retracted things she said or said she did sexual things
The girl learned about the acts because she walked in on Guittierrez and her mother during sex a few times, and videos the couple made show details that the girl refers to, Harper said.
Guittierrez faces 20 to 50 years in prison on each count of child molesting, and the trial is expected to last most of the week.
Third Cartronix burglaar sentenced
The last of three Hazel Crest, Ill., men who broke into the Valparaiso Cartronix store in April 2011 has been sentenced, this one to four years in prison.
Timothy Farris, 30, will serve the sentence consecutive to any sentence out of Lake County, where the men later burglarized a Hobart Radio Shack and were caught.
Farris pleaded to Class C felony burglary July 31 for his part in breaking into the store on LaPorte Avenue with Jason Thomas Clark, 27, who received a four-year sentence for the Cartronix burglary, and Tremain Lawrence Williams, 21, who received a three-year sentence.
An alarm scared the men off before they took anything. Cartronix’s management was able to see much of the break-in remotely by using cameras in the store.
Felon gets 10 more years for drug dealing
Darren Jay Payne, 44, came into court Tuesday as both a veteran and a man once convicted of Class A felony child molesting, and he went out sentenced to 10 more years in prison for drug dealing.
Porter County Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper also sentenced Payne, of Chesterton, to two years after prison of 21/2 years of probation, a strict program with constant checking in with a probation officer.
Payne sold an eighth of an ounce of crack cocaine to Porter County Drug Task Force agents for $180 on Sept. 1 and 3.3 grams of powder cocaine for $190 on Sept. 28. He pleaded guilty to one Class B felony dealing in cocaine earlier this summer.
Melesa Payne, 44, his wife, allegedly met the agents the first time, told them he would get the drugs from a source in Gary and told them how to smoke the crack.
The second time, they borrowed the informant’s vehicle to go get the drugs.
She is scheduled to appear before Harper on Sept. 4 for a hearing and at trial Sept. 26.
Portage man gets 6 months for purse snatching
A Portage man received his first adult conviction Tuesday for one of the crimes he committed as an adult.
Charles Kenneth Nafus III, 18, had pleaded guilty earlier this summer to Class D felony theft for his part in the snatch-and-grab purse theft on Feb. 13 in the Portage Wal-Mart parking lot on U.S. 6.
He was also accused of breaking into a home in Camelot Manor on Nov. 24 and stealing a jewelry box with a juvenile.
Nafus received a six-month jail sentence and will serve 30 months probation after that.
Michael Dwyers, 18, is scheduled to appear in court for a status hearing for his part in the purse theft.