ANDERSON — New charges of child molestation have been filed in Madison County against a man who helped foster nearly 50 children and who is currently serving a 40-year sentence for four counts of child molest.
Earl “Butch” Kimmerling, 72, of Elwood, is charged with a Class C felony child molesting.
In June, Kimmerling admitted during a parole hearing that he had molested five additional children, four girls and a boy, while they were in his care, but he did not provide details regarding the identities of the children.
A new charge was filed Nov. 14 by Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings, after authorities interviewed an alleged victim. The new charge dates back to Dec. 1, 1994.
The woman said she lived with the Kimmerlings while in foster care when she was about 4, according to an affidavit of probable cause by James Sundheimer of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
She told Sundheimer she began having pseudoseizures in 2012, which she was told are common with people who may have had some kind of childhood trauma.
The woman said she has nightmares about a man who resembles Kimmerling and was told when she first came to live with her parents she had “redness and pain in her vagina” that could not be explained.
Investigators interviewed the girl’s adoptive parents who said she spoke in a sexual manner when her father applied cream to a rash she had shortly after she was adopted.
In July, Sundheimer interviewed Kimmerling at the New Castle Correctional Facility and asked if he remembered fostering the girl.
“He said he probably did, but he didn’t remember all of their names,” Sundheimer wrote. “He said he had fostered several children during that time and didn’t remember her specifically.”
Kimmerling denied any further knowledge of the girl or ever abusing anyone by her name, according to the affidavit.
Kimmerling sparked a national debate on gay adoption in the 1990s after Craig Peterson, a single gay man living in Indianapolis who wanted to adopt a girl named Ashley and her three brothers. Kimmerling and his then-wife were the girl’s foster parents and opposed the adoption citing moral reasons.
Shortly after the debate, Kimmerling and his wife adopted Ashley. About a year later, Ashley, then 9, told her foster mother that Kimmerling had sexually abused her and it was reported to police.
Eight months later, Kimmerling admitted to molesting Ashley about once every three to four weeks. Ashley had been in his care for four years.
Kimmerling was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison for four counts of child molest.
Peterson eventually adopted Ashley and her brothers.
In July 2016, Kimmerling was released from the Indiana Department of Correction after serving 16 years. In April, he was arrested for violating his parole and returned to the DOC to finish serving his sentence.