A retired Ball State University professor was arrested Wednesday, accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a boy over a period of several years.
Melvin Lee Sharpe, 78, 1806 N. Alden Road, was preliminarily charged with child molesting and child solicitation.
According to an affidavit, a boy told welfare officials, and later Muncie police, that Sharpe had digitally penetrated him when they showered together at the professor’s home. The alleged victim said the assaults began when he was 7 years old and continued for about five years.
Sharpe also tried to persuade the boy to “put lotion on his genital area,” the report said.
Questioned Wednesday by city police, Sharpe said he had “nothing to hide,” the affidavit said, and admitted to “showering nude” with his accuser.
Sharpe said he was trying to teach the boy to bathe, and that the physical contact alleged by his accuser happened one time, not on repeated occasions.
The Muncie man was released from the Delaware County jail after posting a $35,000 bond.
When Sharpe retired from Ball State in 2007, he was credited with molding the journalism department’s public relations sequence.
He won the Outstanding Faculty Service Award in 2000 and was inducted into the BSU Journalism Hall of Fame in 2006.