arrested on child molesting charges
A Patriot man has been arrested and charged with three felony counts in connection with alleged crimes committed against a minor.
Joshua R. Shannon, 38, of Patriot, is being held in the Switzerland County jail on three charges: child molesting, a Level 4 felony; child solicitation, a Level 5 felony; and attempted promoting prostitution, a Level 4 felony. He is being held on a $5,000 cash bond and a $5,000 surety bond.
In a probable cause affidavit filed with the Switzerland County Circuit Court on Friday, May 3rd by Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department detective Joe Spilman, on Tuesday, April 23rd, he received a call from Switzerland County School Corporation School Resource Officer Roy Leap that a student at Switzerland County Elementary School had informed officials about possible sexual abuse that was occurring at their home.
Spilman, Leap, Indiana State Police Detective Brent Miller, and Department of Child Services Family Case Manager Mary Buxton met with SCES Principal John Druba. According to the affidavit, Druba said that a student had reported to their teacher that a friend had told them that the child’s step-father was trying to molest her at home.
Druba said that after he received the information, he called the alleged victim into his office, where after initially not disclosing anything about her home life, she disclosed to the Principal that her step father was touching her inappropriately, and had offered her money to touch him. The Child Advocacy Center was then contacted, and an emergency CAC interview was set for that afternoon. Detective Miller made contact with the child’s mother, and after learning of the situation, she met the group at the CAC building in Dillsboro.
The affidavit stated that once at CAC, a forensic interview was conducted with the victim, who disclosed that her step father had attempted to touch her genital area several times, but she was able to push his hands away. She also disclosed that he rubbed other areas of her body; and tried to bribe her with money to touch him. The victim said that the most recent incident had occurred two nights prior to the CAC interview, and had happened in her bedroom while her mother was asleep on the couch, and Shannon came into her room to tuck her in.
The victim’s mother then told officials that Shannon would be staying somewhere else while the allegations were looked into, and asked law enforcement officials to inform him that he was not allowed to come back to the house. The Division of Child Services also requested that he have no contact with the children until the investigation was complete.
Detective Spilman then contacted Shannon by telephone and advised him that there were some allegations being made against him. Spilman asked Shannon if he was willing to come to the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office to discuss those allegations, and Shannon agreed.
At the sheriff’s office, Spilman conducted an interview with Shannon, informing him of the allegations that had been made. Shannon denied ever intentionally touching the victim in a sexual way, and also denied ever offering the victim money to touch him. During the interview, Shannon asked if he could take a polygraph test, and also stated that he wanted it in writing that if he passed the polygraph, Spilman wouldn’t ask that criminal charges be brought against him.
According to the affidavit, on Monday, April 29th, Shannon took a polygraph at the Indiana State Police post in Versailles with polygraph examiner Rick Roseberry. During the examination, Shannon was asked if he ever touched the victim’s breasts in a sexual manner, and Shannon answered ‘no’ to that question — but the examiner determined that he was not being truthful. After the polygraph was completed, Shannon continued to deny that anything of a sexual nature occurred.
Spilman then, based on evidence, interviews, and the polygraph examination, turned his findings over to the Switzerland County Prosecutor’s office; and the prosecutor found probable cause and filed the case and the three felony counts on Friday, May 3rd.
It is noted that all persons are assumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.