Eric Fulk mug

Eric Fulk, of South Whitley.

It took a jury of six men and six women just over two hours to convict Eric Fulk, 42, of child molesting in the Whitley Circuit Court last week. The trial was held May 10, 11 and 12 before Judge Matthew Rentschler.

Fulk, of South Whitley, was accused of sexually touching his girlfriend’s 5 year-old daughter in March of 2020. The case had originally been tried to a jury in September of 2021 but ended in a mistrial.

The child revealed the molestation to her grandmother and then later in a forensic interview conducted at the Whitley County Special Interview Center after an investigation conducted by Whitley County Sheriff’s Department Detective William Brice.

Whitley County Prosecutor D.J. Sigler called eight witnesses to the stand, including a sexual assault treatment nurse, two experts in the science of forensic interviewing of children and a clinical psychologist. Dr. Siquilla Liebertrau described the science of sexual trauma in children and how they experience and explain abuse.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Grossnickle questioned the child’s grandmother and former Department of Child Services caseworker Mariah Freel. The grandmother described the revelation by the child while Freel indicated that the child told her she had been touched by the defendant and gestured to the locations on her body where the touching occurred.

Sigler praised the depth and thoroughness of the investigation by the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department. “These cases are incredibly difficult for the child and they require a high degree of skill and determination to see them through. I thank Detective Brice for the quality of his work and the professionalism of the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.”

The Whitley County Prosecutor’s office does not name children who have been the victims of sexual assault.

Fulk will be sentenced on June 13. He faces a potential sentence of between 20 and 50 years in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender upon leaving incarceration.

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