Porter County Courts
September 28, 2012 5:52PM
Sentencing delayed for more charges
A New Chicago man who was supposed to be sentenced for up to 19 years on Friday had that delayed because of new charges that he allegedly stalked the victim of the first case.
On Aug. 9, a jury found Brandon L. Scroggin, 28, guilty of Class D felony arson for setting his former girlfriend’s truck on fire; Class C felony receiving stolen auto parts for stealing a van from someone he was bar hopping with to hit the car of the former girlfriend’s brother; Class D felony intimidation for threatening her using his phone and the phone he stole from the van’s owner; and misdemeanor criminal mischief. The jury also found him a habitual offender, and the events all happened March 10 and 11, after she kicked him out.
The new charges are Class C felony stalking and three Class D felonies of invasion of privacy. The stalking allegedly happened from March to September and includes him calling the victim from Porter County Jail and having his grandmother call her, telling the grandma the victim was his wife.
Porter Superior Judge William Alexa asked after the reading of the new charges if Scroggin believed he could call from jail without being recorded.
“How dumb is that,” Alexa said. “With this set, another 15 is possible. You’re going to be an old man when you get out.”
Scroggin also has a Class D felony charge before Porter Superior Judge Jeffrey Thode that’s related to the victim of the other cases, and that would add more sentencing time.
Scroggin is next in court on Jan. 4 and is expected to be sentenced on the trial charges then and to be updated on the new cases.
Alexa assigned Robert Harper to continue being Scroggin’s public defender.
Child molesting remembered, charges filed
Almost 25 years after a decade-long pattern of child molesting allegedly began, a Portage man has been charged for it.
Roger L. Tanner, 48, faces 20 to 50 years in prison on Class A felony child molesting and was given a March 4 trial date and $10,000 bail bond.
The victim told police she thought she repressed memories of the molestation that began in Hobart when she was 4 and continued in Portage until she was 16 and then broke contact Tanner, but the memories came back after she reconnected with a family member who interacted with Tanner.
The alleged victim has trouble sleeping and has been ill and drinking since memories resurfaced, court documents state.
Hobart man sentenced for burglary
A Hobart man who broke into Curly Joe’s Bar and Grill in the Portage Mall received a four-year prison sentence for the burglary.
Karl Papka, 32, got into the restaurant through ventilation shafts he got into from the roof in June 2011.
However, Papka left blood on one of the grates inside the business, which police matched to his DNA from a previous conviction.
The prison sentence will run concurrent with a sentence he received in Lake County for another crime.
Papka got $100 and did damage to numerous doors inside Curly Joe’s
South Bend man gets time served
A South Bend man caught driving 35 pounds of marijuana through Northwest Indiana will not serve any more time.
Rigoberto Trancoso, 26, will have to serve two months community service and 16 months on probation for his plea to Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance, down from Class C felony dealing marijuana.
Chesterton Police stopped Trancoso on Interstate 94 on May 8 because he straddled two eastbound lanes in the 2002 GMC Envoy he drove. A police dog found two garbage bags in the back of the SUV full of marijuana, and police found small baggies of marijuana in the center console.
Trancoso said he borrowed the SUV to drive to Chicago to see family, and a records search showed someone else owned it.
At Trancoso’s Aug. 10 plea hearing, court officials declined to comment on whether he was involved in any way with other investigations.