Lumpkins enters plea bargain in felony child molesting case

Christopher Lumpkins

After pleading guilty to one count of child molesting as a Level 4 felony, a local man is now facing up to 16 years in prison when he’s sentenced next month.

Christopher Dennis Lumpkins, 56, whose address was initially reported as 3207 Sycamore Drive, Columbus, was originally charged in Bartholomew Superior Court 1 with three counts of child molesting. One was filed as a Level 1 felony, while the remaining two were classified as Level 4 felonies.

Had Lumpkins been found guilty of all original formal charges, the defendant could have sentenced him to 64 years with the Indiana Department of Correction, as well as ordered to pay fines of up to $30,000.

After the defendant changed his plea Monday, Judge James Worton scheduled the sentencing hearing for 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15. If the judge accepts the plea bargain, the two remaining felony charges will be dropped.

While court documents state Lumpkins had repeatedly molested one child in Columbus several times beginning in January, 2020, an investigative report indicates the sexual abuse began much earlier at an out-of-county location when the female victim was only 5.

The molestations in the Columbus area ended in October 2021, police reports say. Seven months later, the victim saw Lumpkins as she was returning home from a park and insisted he tell her mother of the sexual assaults, investigators wrote.

Lumpkins did as the girl insisted and the mother called police, the affidavit states. Along with an arrest warrant, a no contact order was issued by the judge to protect the victim.

When questioned in May 2022, Lumpkins told investigators he did whatever the victim was accusing him of committing, court documents state. The defendant said he wanted law enforcement to believe the girl because nobody believed him when he was molested as a child, a probable cause affidavit states.

But according to the affidavit, the defendant also told officers he could not provide any additional details of his own crimes because a stroke had wiped away much of his memory.

Investigators also discovered there was a prior incident reported to the Boyd County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s Department, where Lumpkins was the suspect in a sexual abuse case involving a separate victim, the report states.

Worton granted defense requests for a new series of court dates six times, online court records show. Despite the continuances, four change of plea hearings were convened – only for Lumpkins’ attorney to state his client was ready to proceed to trial.

The defendant also asked Worton to replace his original public defender, Jane Ann Noblitt, in December 2022. The judge granted the request and appointed Greg Long to replace Noblitt. But in less than a year, Lumpkins was asking for yet another public defender. This time, the judge did not grant the request.