A man accused of forcing a 4-year-old to perform oral sex on him was jailed Thursday on a felony child molesting charge.
Donald E. Kennedy, 37, of the 10000 block of Legal Tender Road in Elizabethtown, was arrested following an investigation that began in January when a female child, now 11, told a school guidance counselor that Kennedy molested her when she was approximately 4-years-old, according to court documents.
The counselor contacted the Indiana Department of Child Services, an agent of which interviewed the child and a sibling about the accusations. The victim said the incidents involved forced oral sex and was uncertain how many times they occurred. The child said in a later interview the alleged abuse took place three times. The sibling claimed to have witnessed two of the alleged incidents, investigators said.
Police believe the alleged child molestation occurred at a local residence “during a period of time in 2010,” according to court documents. The child who claimed to witness the abuse said the incidents occurred at night while their mother was working and Kennedy was tasked with caring for them.
Greensburg Police detectives met with Kennedy at his place of employment in Columbus in February, during which time the suspect reportedly told investigators he had faced the same accusations years before and had been cleared of any wrongdoing. Kennedy denied the accusations and said he had not had any contact with the children involved in the case “for several years,” according to a police report. The victim in the case said she does not currently have contact with Kennedy.
The crime of child molesting was a Class A felony at the time the incidents are alleged to have occurred. Conviction of a Class A felony carries a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. A person convicted would face a maximum of 50 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, according to the state’s criminal code in place at the time the alleged child molestation occurred.
Kennedy appeared in court for his initial hearing Friday and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Attorney Mark Jones was appointed as defense counsel and a jury trial was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 6, 2016, in Decatur County Superior Court.
Kennedy remained incarcerated in the Decatur County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 commercial bond Friday.