A Seymour man could spend up to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of child molesting.
47-year-old James Alfred Hyland was arrested February 25 in Jennings County on four Class C felony counts of child molesting and four Class B felony counts of incest.
He was scheduled to stand trial Tuesday in Jennings Circuit Court in Vernon, but that trial was canceled after the guilty plea was submitted to the court by Deputy Prosecutor Drew Dickerson.
If Judge Jonathan Webster accepts the plea agreement, Hyland could be sentenced to up to eight years on each count. Those sentences would be served at the same time. The four incest counts would be dismissed as part of the agreement. No date has been set for sentencing.
Hyland was arrested after a child told a neighbor that Hyland had molested her.
Hyland is accused of molesting four children between January 1, 2014 and June 30, 2014 in the home where the children lived.
Detectives and officials with Jennings County Child Protective Services and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southeastern Indiana in Dillsboro interviewed the children on July 29, 2014.
According to court documents, all four children told police that Hyland, a registered sex offender in Jackson County, had been abusing them. The children told police that they were afraid of Hyland and that he had told them not to tell anyone about the abuse.
During questioning, Hyland denied any wrongdoing, saying he did not touch any of the children inappropriately.
He told police he had been a registered sex offender in Jackson County for six years because of a felony sexual battery case. Hyland pleaded guilty to that charge July 26, 2007, in Jackson Circuit Court.
In the summer of 2014, Hyland was arrested in Jennings County for failing to register as a sex offender.