Joshua J. Stevens Sentenced to 85 Years in Child Molestation Case
LAWRENCE COUNTY - SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 - Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge John Plummer III sentenced Joshua J. Stevens to 85 years to the Department of Corrections in a sentencing hearing Thursday afternoon.
Joshua Steven sentenced to 85 years in Lawrence County Superior Court I Thursday afternoon
Stevens molested the victim more than 90 times over a period of time when the victim was four years of age and lasted until she was 11 years of age. She told a family member about the molestation who then reported to the authorities in 2019.
Both the victim and the victim's mother submitted victim impact statements about how it affected them, and how the victim is moving on with her life.
Lawrence County Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Tucker Young told the court there were two aggravating circumstances and asked the court to sentence Stevens to 220 years to the Indiana Department of Corrections.
Lawrence County Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Tucker-Young
The two aggravating circumstances included his previous criminal history and violating conditions of probation while on house arrest during the trial.
Stevens did not attend jury selection when his trial began; despite the court ordering him to appear.
Stevens removed his monitoring bracelet in Monroe County during the trial and was later located by Monroe County officials. Monroe County officials found him in possession of drugs. The trial was delayed for several hours until Stevens was brought to the courtroom to remain there until the conclusion of the trial.
Stevens defense attorney Tim Sledd maintains that the mitigating circumstances included Stevens only having misdemeanor offenses prior to the molesting case and is not likely to reoffend.
Sledd, also asserted the sentencing put Steven's in a double jeopardy situation.
Lawrence County John Plummer III
However, Judge Plummer rejected Sledd's position and stated there was no mitigating factors in this case, and that there were no violations of double jeopardy.
Count 1 - 40 years
Count 2 - 35 years
Count 3 - 45 years
Count 4 - 35 years
Count 5 - 45 years
Judge Plummer ordered that Counts 3 and 5 to be served concurrently, counts 1, 2, and 4 to be served concurrently but ordered counts 3 and 5 to be served consecutively before counts 1, 2, and 4. Judge Plummer ordered that the sentence will not be suspended and that there is no probation.
" He will serve his time, he violated his position of trust, and the position of trust that being the victim's father. In both the trial, and during the victim impact statement read today, stating she still loves her father. is unbelievable," said Judge Plummer.
" i am ecstatic with this sentencing. The Honorable Judge Plummer done a tremendous job searching the case law for the sentencing hearing. His 85-year sentence sends a strong message that if anyone is convicted of child molesting, they are going to be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law," said Lawrence County
Stevens has been in custody at the Lawrence County Jail since the trial and will be taken back to the Lawrence County Jail until he is moved to the Indiana Department of Corrections.
Stevens does plan to appeal his sentencing and will be appointed an attorney represent him during the appeal.