Milan man found guilty of child molesting

Dustin Crabtree

Dustin Crabtree, 32, Milan, was convicted by a jury of child molesting, a Level 1 felony, July 31, reported Ripley County Prosecuting Attorney Ric Hertel, who represented the state throughout the trial.

The jury deliberated for three hours following a two-day trial. He faces a possible sentence of 20-50 years on his sentencing date, Aug. 23.

Hertel noted the child victim in this case had just turned 5 about a week before she testified at a pretrial hearing, saying it was a very difficult undertaking for her, "heart-wrenching to watch. At times she answered while hidden below the witness stand."

The prosecutor said, "A key factor in this trial was for the jury to see a video of her interview at the Child Advocacy Center by a trained forensic interviewer vs. the courtroom with the perpetrator present." Hertel noted those were key rulings that the state won to help sway the outcome of this case. Without physical evidence, the jury had to base its decision on what the child said and statements made by the perpetrator to Indiana State Police detectives.

Hertel commented that the two detectives involved were outstanding throughout the case, from the initial involvement, obtaining key statements from the perpetrator, and their testimony at the trial.

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