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Man gets 10 years for molestation

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A Hope man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to Class B felony child molesting as part of a plea bargain agreement.

Dennis R. Hatton, 62, 15860 E. Stafford Road, was sentenced Tuesday in Batholomew Circuit Court by Judge Stephen Heimann.

Hatton pleaded guilty July 7 in Bartholomew Circuit Court to one of three counts of child molesting relating to offenses involving a 7-year-old girl, according to court documents.

The incidents happened between February and August 2012, according to a Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department investigation.

Sheriff’s deputies said the victim told them that Hatton forced her to perform a sex act on him, according to court affidavits. The court documents also stated the victim told investigators she had been repeatedly touched inappropriately by the defendant.

Hatton initially told investigators that the 7-year-old made the initial sexual advances, according to the sheriff department investigation.

After an arrest warrant was issued in the case, and a court order was issued forbidding Hatton to have direct or indirect contact with the victim, Hatton disappeared, according to court documents.

In early 2013, Bartholomew County sheriff’s deputies received information that Hatton had returned to Bartholomew County and arrested him in the northeastern area of the county in February 2013.

On Tuesday, Heimann dismissed the two other child molesting charges as part of the plea bargain agreement, according to court documents.

Hatton was given 60 days credit toward his sentence for time already spent in confinement as a result of the charges.

He was ordered to pay court costs of $168, and restitution of $2,501.60, according to the sentencing order.

Hatton was also fined $1,000, according to court documents.

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