From: Traci Steele on 27 May 2010 00:24
VALPARAISO -- A Valparaiso man maintained his innocence Monday as he was
sentenced to 80 years in prison for child molesting.
A jury found Anthony M. Welkie, 44, guilty on April 7 of three felony
counts of child molesting. Welkie told the court he plans to appeal.
"I have stolen. I have lied. I have betrayed the trust of family and
friends. But I did not commit this crime, and that's one of the reasons
I took it to trial instead of accepting a plea bargain," Welkie said
during his defendant's statement.
The crimes he was sentenced for took place between January 2003 and June
2008, according to court documents.
He lived with the girls' family and was sometimes their caretaker,
although public defender Peter Boyles argued before the sentencing the
girls claimed the molestation happened after Welkie took care of them.
Boyles said the appeal would probably be based on the severity of Judge
Roger Bradford's sentencing and the insufficient evidence the state
During the trial, Boyles said in his closing argument that no physical
examinations were done of the girls.
Monday's sentencing arguments included testimony from Welkie's former
stepmother, who had known him since he was 5.
Welkie told court officials during his presentencing interviews that the
woman had abused him.
She denied that and said he was trying to get revenge because she
contacted the court and said she suspected him of sexually abusing other
girls when he was younger.
One girl told her of it 10 years ago, and she wanted the court to know
because she didn't want the girls from the current trial to feel no one
believed them, the stepmother said.
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