Man accused of child abuse

Three felony charges have been filed against a northern Bartholomew County man accused of having sexual relations with two girls, ages 11 and 15.

Dylan James Carley, 22, of 14080 N. County Road 300E, Columbus, faces two counts of child molesting, both Level 1 felonies, and sexual misconduct with a minor as a Level 4 felony.

If convicted on all counts, Carley could be sentenced to 42 to 92 years in prison and face fines of up to $30,000.

Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge Jim Worton received the case Wednesday after a probable-cause affidavit was filed with the court by Detective Chad Swank of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

The affidavit states the first child molestation incident was reported Dec. 30. Sheriff’s department investigators interviewed an 11-year-old girl, who said Carley began making advances toward her Christmas Eve or Christmas night, Swank wrote.

As the detective was questioning Carley later in the day, he admitted molesting the 11-year-old while under the influence of alcohol but said it took place during the early morning hours of Dec. 26, the court affidavit stated.

“During my conversation with Carley, he also admitted that he had previously engaged (in a sexual act) with another girl who he believed to be 15 years old,” Swank wrote.

Swank found the older girl, who said her encounter with Carley took place between June 1 and July 21, the affidavit stated. Court documents state the second girl was either 14 or 15 when the incident happened.

Immediately after being interviewed by Swank, Carley was arrested Dec. 30 on a preliminary charge of sexual misconduct. He was booked into the Bartholomew County Jail a few hours later, with his initial bond set at $75,000, jail records show.

Although the arrest was announced the next day, details regarding the case were temporarily withheld as investigators worked to locate and later question the second girl, the affidavit stated.

Upon receiving the formal charges, Worton first issued a no-contact order to protect the two victims. He then increased the defendant’s bond to $500,000 surety or $50,000 cash.

As of Thursday morning, Carley was still behind bars, according to jail records.

What's next?

An initial hearing for Dylan James Carley, 22, of Columbus, charged with two counts of child molesting and one count of sexual misconduct, is tentatively scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today in front of Bartholomew Superior Court Judge 1 Jim Worton.   

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.