By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — A man who pleaded guilty to sexually touching a 7-year-old girl was sentenced Monday.
Anthony J. Wallace, 29, of Anderson, was hesitant to admit exactly what he did, but he did vaguely apologize during the hearing in Madison Circuit Court 6. Wallace pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual battery, a Class D felony, in May. A Class A felony charge of child molest was dropped as part of the agreement.
Judge Dennis Carroll, who presided over the hearing, said he noted the disconnect between the charges and the unclear admission, but gave Wallace a choice of serving a 30-month sentence in the work release program or a shorter 15-month sentence in prison. Wallace said he preferred the 30-month work release sentence so he could earn money, and Carroll granted the sentence.
The victim's mother was much more forthcoming with details of the attack, which happened in 2008. She described a day when she left her daughter with Wallace while she left her home to run a few errands. While the mother was away, Wallace spanked the girl then molested her, and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.
The daughter finally came forward about the abuse in 2012 when she was 11. She told police she was sure Wallace tried to molest two other minors who were living in the home as well.
Wallace initially denied the accusations, and told police the woman was trying to get back at him. Despite pleading guilty in May, Wallace didn't expressly admit to anything on Monday. He said he never would've molested a child and it must have happened because he was abusing drugs or alcohol at the time. He also denied threatening the girl.
The mother said the case has been difficult for her family, and the girl now has severe trust issues with adults.
"I trusted him, and I shouldn't have," the woman said. "Now she needs counseling, but even I need counseling myself because I feel like a horrible mother."
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