B'ville man charged with 4 counts of
Child Molesting

Wanda English Burnett

An initial hearing was held for John R. Tunny, 47, of Batesville, last week in Ripley County Circuit Court on four counts of Child Molesting.

Police came about this information in a strange way after Tunny went to Margaret Mary Community Hospital on January 31, 2011, and requested to be treated for depression. He then disclosed that he was depressed because he had been molesting (the victim).

That information and more was revealed in a Probable Cause Affidavit filed March 16 in Ripley County Circuit Court.

Tunny told hospital workers that he had been engaging in “sexually abusing” this child for the past three years. He also stated, “but, there was no penetration.”

The alleged perpetrator said the sexual contact took place in different areas of the house. Tunny said he “felt the urge to touch (the victim)” and then, “one thing led to another.”

When asked how often this had occurred over the past three years, Tunny said, “there might have been time I done it twice a month, but most of the time it was once a month.”

The victim told a different story saying that Tunny had actual sexual intercourse with the victim. Also, the frequency of occurrence from the victim’s perspective was two times a week, sometimes one to three times per month over the years.

Tunny faces four Class A Felonies for the alleged molestation. His bail was set at $100,000, meaning he could be released on a $10,000 cash bond. If convicted he could face up to 200 years behind bars. The minimum is 20 years per count for each charge depending on whether it is sentenced consecutively or concurrently.

An Omnibus hearing was set for May 31 with a jury trial scheduled for September 6.
Tunny is being represented by attorney Jeffrey Sharp.