Varner Joe Whitis of Edinburgh Indiana Arrested for Child Molesting

Varner Whitis-Joe Whitis-Shelby County-Edinburgh

An Edinburgh man found himself behind bars this week after law enforcement officials charged him with two counts of child molestation.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Shelby County Circuit Court, Varner Joe Whitis, 65, is facing two Class C felony counts of molesting his stepgranddaughters.

The first count alleges that between Jan. 1, 2004, and Dec. 31, 2009, Warner did knowingly or intentionally fondle or touch a child under the age of 14 with intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the older person.

The second count alleges the same took place between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2012.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department learned of the allegations after receiving a report from an employee with the Shelby County Department of Child Services.

The victims told police the incidents happened both while they were riding a four-wheeler with Whitis and in a rocking chair inside his house.

During in an interview last week with police, Whitis stated he had touched both victims “multiple times” over a period of about three years.

According to court documents, Whitis posted bond and is set to return to the Shelby County Courthouse on April 23 for a pretrial conference before Judge Charles D. O’Connor. A jury trial is slated for August.

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