BAINBRIDGE -- With the community reeling from one sexual scandal already this week, word of another broke Wednesday afternoon as Indiana State Police announced the arrest of a 44-year-old Bainbridge man and a 15-year-old female North Putnam High School student.
For the past week, detectives from the Putnamville Post have been conducting an investigation into obscene matter being provided to minors and a related complaint of battery.
Arrested in the latest case was Ellis Dexter "Dale" Gray, 44, Bainbridge, taken into custody the evening of Feb. 21 and incarcerated in the Putnam County Jail, State Police Sgt. Joe Watts reported.
Gray was preliminarily charged with one count of providing obscene matter and performances before minors, a Class D felony. Gray has since bonded out of the jail.
The juvenile female, also from Bainbridge, was arrested Monday for obstruction of justice, a Class D felony; battery, a misdemeanor; and juvenile delinquency.
Arrested at North Putnam High School, she was transported to the Cedarbridge Treatment Center in Muncie. She is tentatively scheduled to remain there for 20 days.
No other arrests are anticipated in the case, authorities said.
Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter said Wednesday afternoon that formal charges have not yet been filed in the case.
The case originated when the Putnamville Post was contacted by the Indiana Department of Child Services of Putnam County requesting assistance with a sexual misconduct investigation.
As the investigation progressed, ISP detectives were able to develop information that Gray had allegedly provided sexually explicit material and pictures to three 15-year-old Putnam County females.
The situation subsequently involved North Putnam after Gray was arrested. Following his incarceration, one of the three juvenile females allegedly battered one of the other two juvenile females during school hours at NPHS.
North Putnam has been in full cooperation with the Indiana State Police, Sgt. Watts said. The only alleged crime to reportedly occur on school property was the battery of the juvenile victim by another juvenile.
The injured girl sustained abrasions and contusions about her head and body and was treated at a local hospital. She was later released.
State Police said the arrested juvenile's mother is the fiancée of Ellis Gray, while the other two juvenile females were friends of the family.
A Feb. 21 search of the rural Putnam County home was executed and items of suspected evidence were collected. The incidents involving obscene matter and/or photographs all occurred at the rural Putnam County home, police said.
The case was investigated by ISP Det. Deanna Jones. Assisting were Dets. Jim Dungan and Chris Carter, ISP Crime Scene Investigator Sgt. Jim Cody and the Department of Child Services-Putnam County.