Willie Napier Jr., Versailles, pled guilty the day of his trial, Nov. 28, 2017, to three counts of child molesting, all Level 4 felonies, and the sentencing date was set by Ripley Circuit Court Judge Ryan King, reported Ripley County Prosecuting Attorney Ric Hertel.
A sentencing determination was left to the court’s discretion. Napier faced two to 12 years of incarceration for each crime, and Hertel recommended he receive the maximum sentence allowed by law for each.
The prosecutor cited various aggravating factors, including the fact that each count was a separate victim, two of them Napier’s biological children, according to the news release. Hertel further argued that the defendant has a criminal history; was in a position of care, custody or control of the victims at the time of the crime; violated a condition of his home detention release between conviction and sentencing; the nature and circumstances of the crimes; and the significant impact on the minor children.
The prosecutor cited no statutory mitigators. Following the Feb. 6 hearing, the judge agreed with the prosecutor’s recommendation that Napier should receive the maximum sentence. Accordingly, he was sentenced to a term of 36 years.
Hertel commented that each of these children was required to give deposition testimony prior to the trial date about what Napier had done to them. The descriptions given by the children outlining what they were exposed to was extremely difficult and painful just to hear. "The hope is that they will be provided necessary treatment and counseling in the coming years," he said.
At the prosecutor’s request, the judge found Napier a sexually violent offender, which requires him to register as a lifetime sex offender.
Indiana State Police Detective Kip Main was the investigating officer in this matter, and Hertel noted not just all of the time and effort he devoted to the investigation, but also to the care and welfare of the victims.