By Dave Pearce
A 59-year-old Posey County man accused of fondling an 8-year-old girl at his home was found guilty by a jury trial this week of child molestation, a Class C Felony. A tentative sentencing date of October 1 has been set. Michael J. Simpson, 59, of New Harmony, faces a maximum sentence of eight years on the count.
According to Posey County Prosecutor Travis Clowers,
Simpson was originally being held at the Posey County Jail but had been released after posting a $2,500 cash bond. He was taken into custody immediately after the conviction was read.
“As soon as the guilty verdict came back on this case, Posey County Circuit Court Judge James Redwine ordered Simpson taken into custody,” Clowers said. “Detective Alan Sherretz, who had been the leading detective in the case, was sitting next to me and he immediately took him into custody.”
He was indicted in April of 2011 by a Posey County grand jury for molesting the child, a member of the family, earlier last year.
Indiana State Police received a complaint on March 30, 2011, accusing Simpson of molesting the girl the previous week.
An investigation by Detective Alan Sherretz allegedly revealed that Simpson fondled the child while she was sleeping during an overnight stay at his New Harmony residence.
“Detective Sherretz did a very thorough job of investigating and bringing a good case to me,” Clowers said.
The child was taken to Holly’s House in Evansville prior to the charges being filed and was interviewed by Jenny Wood, a nationally-certified child forensic interviewer.
Clowers stressed the potential long-term damage a child can face following molestation.
“Children are so important to us and to our community,” Clowers said. “It was a sensitive trial but I believe the correct results came of it.”