A Columbia City teenager who pleaded guilty to child molesting for taking off a three-year-old girl’s clothes and bouncing her on his lap was sentenced Monday to six years at the Whitley County Jail with four to serve.
Whitley Circuit Court Judge James Heuer said he wanted to have some portion of the sentence suspended so 18-year-old William B. Leeka could be under the court’s authority and be made to seek sex offender treatment classes.
“I’m concerned he may re-offend,” Heuer said of his reason for not allowing Leeka to be released from jail without any further responsibilities, other than to register as a sex offender.
The father of the three-year-old girl Leeka molested while she was at his mother’s house for child care asked the court for the maximum sentence for the class C felony for which Leeka pleaded guilty.
“Our daughter did not have a choice in this act … we just want to see justice reflected in the sentence,” he said.
Leeka’s public defender, Scott Lennox, asked for the advisory sentence for a class C felony since his client accepted for the crime and suffered from domestic violence at home throughout his childhood.
Whitley County Prosecutor Matt Rentschler said the “horrible crime” will have a lasting effect on the victim and her family.
Leeka apologized to the victim’s family and said he “deeply regrets” the crime he committed.