By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
A man who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to several lifetimes in prison for charges of child molestation had his appeal denied on Wednesday.
William D. Everage Jr., 39, appealed the length and severity of his 253-year sentence for 19 felony charges related to child molest. Everage admitted he had been molesting children since he was 17, and families of his victims alleged he manipulated them in order to get close to their children. Most of the children were being babysat by Everage at the time of abuse, and one of the victims is autistic, according to court documents.
After serving a prison sentence for a previous conviction of molestation, Everage failed to register as a sex offender.
Everage’s girlfriend Jessica Tooley, 31, also confessed to helping Everage molest children, including her own 11-year-old daughter. Tooley admitted she and Everage tied her daughter to a bed and performed various sexual acts on her. Tooley was sentenced to 50 years in August, according to court documents.
After pleading guilty to the charges on June 18, Everage was sentenced by Madison Circuit Court 3 Judge Thomas Newman in early July.
According to the appeal documents, Everage and his attorneys argued the court abused its discretion in sentencing. Everage claimed the court didn’t take into account his admission and cooperation as enough of a mitigating factor in sentencing.
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Cale Bradford upheld the sentence.
Bradford claimed the confession was a mitigating factor, but argued it was “de minimis” or lacking in significance, because of the preponderance of evidence against Everage. Bradford also argued the sentence wasn’t inappropriate because Everage failed to show any remorse or true desire to change despite previous convictions. He called the offenses “to say the least, egregious.”
“It seems the only way to protect the public from Everage is to lock him up,” Bradford wrote in appeal documents.
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