Norlin enters change of plea

Thursday, February 17, 2011

GREENCASTLE -- A man accused of committing sex crimes against a child entered a change of plea in Putnam County Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Under the terms of a plea agreement William E. Norlin, 55, of Cloverdale pled guilty to one count of Class D felony sexual misconduct with a minor. He was charged in January 2009 with two counts of Class C felony child molesting, one count of Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor and Class D felonies performing sexual conduct in the presence of a child, child seduction and sexual battery.

Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley recused himself from Norlin's case on Oct. 26, 2009 after rejecting two proposed plea agreements. Headley was replaced on the case by Parke County Circuit Court Judge Sam A. Swaim.

The first agreement, rejected July 16, called for Norlin to plead guilty to the Class D sexual misconduct charge in exchange for the dismissal of all other charges. The second agreement, rejected Oct. 22, would have dismissed all other charges in exchange for Norlin's guilty plea to the sexual battery charge.

Swaim asked Norlin if he understood the rights he was giving up by entering a guilty plea, explaining that he would be sentenced without the benefit of a trial.

Norlin said he understood and wished to proceed.

Norlin admitted to touching and fondling the victim in the case. Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter asked no questions.

Swaim entered a judgment of conviction on one count of Class D felony sexual misconduct with a minor, and set Norlin's sentencing for April 1.

A Class D felony is punishable by 6 months to three years in prison.

Norlin was set to go to trial on Feb. 10, but a motion for him to enter a change of plea was granted on Dec. 16.

Norlin was arrested on Jan. 22, 2009. He posted a $25,000 cash bond and was released from jail four days later.

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  • Anonymous123

    Ummm, before you defend this man and say there was no evidence presented and that copping a plea bargain does not admit guilt, please re-read the first sentence of paragraph seven in this article.... I'll give you a minute to understand it's meaning..............

    Now, maybe you should think before you respond!

    -- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 3:24 AM
  • WTFRUthinkin -

    That means absolutely nothing. In fact the fact that the prosecutor was willing to drop the following:

    C felony child molestation

    C felony child molestation

    C felony sexual misconduct with a minor

    D felony performing sexual conduct in presence of a child

    D felony child seduction

    D felony sexual battery

    For a maximum of 33 years to:

    D felony sexual misconduct with a minor

    Which carries a maximum of 3 years, only shows the strength of the prosecutors case. When they have a rock solid, open-and-shut case, there is little incentive to offer a great plea bargain such as this one.

    -- Posted by KeyboardWarrior on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 11:05 AM
  • During the plea hearing the defendant must admit to the state's charges on the count or the plea will not be valid. I'm not saying whether this guy did or did not do the crime, but even if he's innocent he has to admit to the crime to take the plea.

    -- Posted by Clovertucky on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 1:42 PM
  • Do you honestly think an innocent person would take a plea bargain for child molesting? No. I don't think I can name one person that would admit guilt to this type of crime if they were innocent. Did you ever think the plea bargain was offered as a request from the victim? A lot of times a victim of rape / molestation / sexual battery does not want to testify or go through with a trial.

    No sane person would register as a sex offender for life if they did not commit the crime. This piece of trash was probably just hoping the judge would give him little to nothing.

    -- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 11:23 PM
  • Wow, look at that. No retractionary statement or even an apology for putting the wrong person's photo on this story. I'm gonna call Thomas Peyton right now and see if he might hire me to run his soon to be acquired newspaper... that is, if someone doesn't shoot him in the face first for being wrongfully accused of child molesting by the Banner Graphic.

    -- Posted by westforty on Sat, Feb 19, 2011, at 9:59 AM
  • Wtfruthinking...

    You get false accusations against you, no evidence, just the word of a girl...and see if you wouldn't settle!! Our family had to go through this similar situation and took the plea...they dropped it down to neglect cause they admitted they had no evidence AFTER the plea deal was signed.... Ask yourself, if u had a choice of 70 years or 90 days what would you choose? U would plea....anyone would and the prosecutor and his friends win and look good in the community ;( it's sad that they are getting away with it and u guys support it!! While they are ruining families... Sad...

    -- Posted by ec on Mon, Feb 28, 2011, at 12:58 PM
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