According to information from
the Ripley County Prosecutors office, two local child
sex offenders have pled guilty in circuit court.
Justin Lee Whitham, pled guilty to Sexual Misconduct With a
Minor and Richard Jarrett pled guilty to Child Molesting. Both
investigations were handled by the Indiana State Police detectives
from the Versailles Post.
Whitham pled guilty and was sentenced to 18 years in the Department
of Corrections with three years suspended to reporting probation.
His crimes took place in early 2009 in the Versailles area against
a 15-year-old girl. Whitham and the juvenile had met through
her mother, who was dating Whitham and living with him for a
period of time.
According to court records, Whitham has fathered children from
the adult woman in the household and the daughter (the juvenile
victim) as well. Detective Tracy Rohlfing investigated the case.
Jarrett pled guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in the Department
of Corrections with five years suspended to reporting probation.
His crimes took place in late 2009 in the Milan area. Jarrett
provided alcohol to his victim before committing the crime against
her. Detectives Glenn Potts and Tom Baxter jointly worked the
investigation into this crime.
Prosecuting attorney Ric Hertel said he was pleased with the
guilty pleas and sentences in both cases. He said both men will
be incarcerated for a significant period of time and have sex
offender registration requirements when they are released by
the Department of Corrections.
The sex offenders will be monitored by the probation department
for a time following their release from prison.
These cases and investigations are very involved and time
consuming, and they require a certain level of experience and
expertise in criminal investigations, noted Hertel. He
said, With the guilty plea, the victims did not have to
testify against these men in open court and their
avenue for a successful appeal is nearly eliminated.
Prosecutor Hertel commended the Indiana State Police detectives
in both cases for their diligence and work.