An Elkhart man was arrested this week after police say he admitted to molesting a friend’s young daughter.
The 8-year-old victim told her mother that John Trinidad Jr. touched her inappropriately while she was in homes in LaGrange and Elkhart counties, according to court documents filed in the case. Trinidad, 52, was identified as a friend of the family.
The child said Trinidad touched her genitals several times at her home in LaGrange County and in an apartment in Elkhart beginning in summer 2013, the documents state.
She said Trinidad called her his girlfriend and told her not to tell anyone about what they were doing.
When interviewed by detectives from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, Trinidad admitted to touching the girl’s genitals more than 10 times, both over and under her clothing, and said he also rubbed his genitals against hers. He corroborated the girl’s statement that the abuse started in summer 2013 and ended at the beginning of 2014, according to the documents.
Trinidad was arrested Sunday, Feb. 15, on one count of child molesting. He was booked at the Elkhart County Jail, and his bond was set at $150,000. As of Friday afternoon, Feb. 20, he was still listed as an inmate.
At an initial hearing Monday, Feb. 16, Trinidad told the court he plans to hire his own attorney, and his trial was scheduled for June 29.
His next scheduled hearing is on March 5.
If convicted, Trinidad could face as many as 50 years in prison under Indiana sentencing guidelines.