Man sentenced for 40 years

A northeast Bartholomew County man who admits having sexual relations with two girls when they were 11 and 15 has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Dylan J. Carley, 24, of 14080 N. County Road 300E pleaded guilty in mid-June to two counts of child molesting as Level 3 felonies, and one additional count of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Level 4 felony.

The sentence handed down Tuesday by Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge Jim Worton was just three years shy of the maximum 43 years stipulated in a June 17 plea agreement.

In contrast, the maximum sentence Carley would have faced if convicted of the criminal charges as they were drafted was 92 years in prison.

A key reason cited by Worton for accepting the plea agreement is that it spared the two victims from having to testify.

Although the judge did order the final three years be served on probation, Worton called the plea agreement “a substantial deal,” adding he would not give Carley any additional considerations for not taking his case to trial.

Born in Arizona and raised in Iowa, Carley moved to the Hope area in June 2014, to be near his father, Carley testified Tuesday.

On Dec. 30, 2015, investigators interviewed an 11-year-old girl who said Carley began making advances toward her a week earlier on Christmas Eve, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Detective Chad Swank of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

“What is particularly bothering about this case, other than the obvious, is that this incident involving the 11-year-old occurred at Christmas,” Worton said. “One child’s Christmas memory will always be having been molested. That is particularly disturbing to the court.”

During questioning, Carley not only admitted molesting the 11-year-old, but also admitted that he had previously engaged in a sexual act with the 15-year-old, Swank wrote.

Swank found the older girl, who said her encounter with Carley took place between June 1 and July 21, 2015, the affidavit stated.

Other factors cited by Worton in his sentence was that one of the victims was younger than 12 years of age. He also said a pre-sentence report stated that Carley poses a moderate risk of committing the same type of crimes.

When asked by his court-appointed attorney, Aaron Edwards, why he molested the girls, Carley said he didn’t know why.

“I made a terrible decision,” Carley said on the stand. “I wake up every day and dislike myself for what I did. If I could change things, I would.”

Although the defendant said his alcohol and marijuana use may have played a factor in his behavior, Deputy Prosecutor Greg Long dismissed the explanation and described Carley’s sexual acts as crimes of violence.

After Carley said he would appeal the sentence, Worton appointed Mike DeArmitt of Columbus to serve as the appellate attorney.

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