No verdict in trial alleging suppressed memory of molesting
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent June 26, 2013 9:52PM
Updated: July 30, 2013 8:10AM
VALPARAISO — The trial of a former Salt Creek Commons man ended in a mistrial Wednesday due to a hung jury.
The jury deliberated about seven hours before Porter Superior Judge William Alexa declared the mistrial for Terry L. Hill, 63, now of LaFolette, Tenn.
It was not clear whether the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office would bring the case back to trial
Hill faced up to 50 years in prison on a Class A felony charge of child molesting and up to eight years in prison on a Class C felony charge of child molesting for incidents that happened in the late 1990s.
The alleged victim was 12 to 14 years old when it happened but 22 when he reported it to police in 2009.
Trial evidence included the victim’s two drunken-driving arrests and what each side argued was the cause of his drinking.
Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said the drinking was a way of suppressing memories of being molested two to three times a week. She described the situation as the alleged victim asking Hill about sex and Hill answering but slowly getting more inappropriate with the boy, starting with showing him porn.
Defense attorney Robert Harper said the alleged victim was using the story to cover up problems with alcohol and with his homosexuality, which his mother couldn’t accept. She kept pushing him to go to police with his accusations, and he did in 2009, telling her it was a birthday present for her, Harper said.