By Frank Denzler Rushville Republican
---- — Long-time Rushville resident Mark Sloan, 62, learned Monday how much time he will serve on molestation and incest charges. Shortly after noon in Rush County Circuit Court Judge David Northam’s courtroom, Sloan was sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
Sloan has been incarcerated in the Rush County Jail since his April 1 arrest following a Rushville Police Department investigation on allegations into inappropriate behavior and contact with minors. Sloan was charged with four felony counts: child molestation (class “A”), two class “C” felony counts of child molestation and incest (class “B” felony). In October of this year, Sloan accepted a “open plea” agreement on two charges; one count of child molestation and one count of incest.
A open plea is a plea agreement where the determination of sentence of the length of time to be spent behind bars is left to the court’s discretion. Usually, plea bargains are struck before the accused make a guilty plea. In an open plea, defendant pleads guilty without an agreement regarding punishment.
During Monday’s sentencing hearing, family members and friends spoke on Sloan’s behalf citing his years of community service and involvement, his current health issues and the lack of previous legal history.
Sloan’s younger brother Brian spoke on his behalf and said that it is his hope that all family members can reach a place of forgiveness at some point in their lives in regards to the situation that brought them to this point and that he and other family members feel that his brother should be held accountable for his crimes. He continued by saying that even with agreeing to the plea agreement, his brother’s years and years and even decades of good for the community, should be taken into account during the sentencing.
Sloan spoke prior to being sentenced and said he took responsibility for his actions.
“I take responsibility for this dark period in my life. I am willing to accept punishment, whatever is decided. It will be God’s will. I deserve to be punished,” the elder Sloan said.
Following a recess of more than 60 minutes, Judge Northam spoke briefly in open court regarding the sentencing issues requested by the prosecution prior to rendering the court’s decision.
“We all are at a loss as to why this took place. The hardship to the family has already taken place. The court is willing to consider the fact that Mr. Sloan accepts responsibility and regarding health issues, there is nothing the court can do about that. In regards to the charges of molestation and incest, the major issue is a loss of trust,” Judge Northam said.
Sloan was sentenced to seven years on the class “C” felony charge of child molestation and 13 years on the class “B” felony charge of incest, with the sentences to be served consecutively at an unnamed IDOC facility.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106.