A Greencastle man had his initial court hearing Monday on charges of child molestation and possession of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a public park.
Robert Strickland, 20, Greencastle, was arrested June 10 at his apartment near Robe Ann Park. Strickland went before Judge Robert Lowe Monday and was given $20,000 cash bond on both charges.
On May 19 the victim's mother, who wished to file child molestation charges, approached Greencastle Police Department officers. The following day, the victim, her mother and Detective Randy Seipel met with the Division of Family and Children's office.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the child told officers that Strickland was at her babysitter's while the child was there. When the babysitter went to the restroom, the child was sitting on the couch with Strickland watching a "Winnie the Pooh" cartoon on DVD.
The cartoon changed over to adult-oriented material, and Strickland allegedly began to touch the child. This lasted only a couple of minutes with Strickland stopping just prior to the babysitter returning from the restroom, the affidavit said.
The movie was on what the child reported to be a burnt DVD. Strickland would later tell police after initially denying the existence of the DVD that he broke it, threw it in the dumpster and it was taken when the dumpster was emptied.
"(The babysitter) states that she believed (Strickland) must have done something wrong because other friends of his were talking about hiding him out," the affidavit said.
Initially, Strickland contacted the Putnam County 911 Center to report he believed subjects might be filing a false report against him. Then on May 21, Strickland contacted Sgt. Charles Inman asking if the police were looking for him. Seipel had Sgt. Inman set up a meeting on the following afternoon with Strickland.
During that meeting, Seipel read Strickland his Miranda Rights and Strickland signed a waiver. Strickland at first denied the DVD contained any pornographic material and said the child was lying about the allegations, but later recanted.
According to the affidavit, Strickland said "apparently (the DVD) had both cartoons and porn on it."
On June 6, Putnam County Dispatch contacted Officer Heath Smiley and Jon Tesmer, stating the Strickland was said to be at the Robe-Ann Apartments. Upon arrival, Strickland was served his warrant and the officers found a baggie with 10 white pills he said were Vicodin.
Strickland told officers he did not have a prescription for them because they belonged to his mother. The pills were later identified as Lortab -- a mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminophen typically used as a moderate to severe pain reliever.
A pre-trial date is pending and will probably occur within the next 45 days. At that time, a trial date will be set.