Man asks judge to toss confession

GREENFIELD — A Greenfield man facing child molesting charges has asked a judge to throw out a videotaped confession he said police recorded even after he had asked about a lawyer.

An attorney for William Schini, who is charged with 11 sexual assault-related charges including child molesting, filed a motion with the court asking that those recordings be suppressed from his client’s trial, which is scheduled to start next week. At a hearing Tuesday in Hancock Circuit Court, defense attorney Michael Boring of New Palestine said Schini asked about a public defender at least four times during the taped conversations with police before signing a waiver and giving a statement.

Prosecutors argued Schini knew his rights before signing the form and gave a legal statement that should be used against him in court. The police officers involved made it clear to Schini he was only a suspect at the time of the interview, had not yet been formally charged and therefore could leave the police station at any time without saying anything, deputy prosecutor Georgeanna Teipen said in court.

Schini, 47, was charged with 11 felonies after a teenage girl told police he fondled her at least 10 times over three years, according to court documents.

Schini voluntarily came to the police department after officers alerted him to their investigation in late 2014. His first conversation with detectives took place in the lobby of the Greenfield Police Department, and an officer recorded the conversation and the interview that followed.

Schini signed a form waiving his right to talk to investigators without an attorney and in the interview with police admitted to everything the girl accused him of doing, court documents state.

“I told William that (the victim) said this has been going on for about three years. William shook his head yes,” Greenfield police Detective Sgt. Nichole Gilbert wrote in her report. “I asked how old (the victim) was when this first started. He said 12-ish.”

After confiding in a friend, the victim came forward and reported the abuse to police, saying she was assaulted repeatedly between 2011 and 2014.

Gilbert told Hancock Circuit Court Judge Richard Culver in court Tuesday that Schini did talk about an appointed attorney when he came to the department, but he said he “didn’t want to put himself in a bad position with a public defender by admitting to more than what (the victim) had already said,” and never specifically asked for a lawyer.

Culver told attorneys he would review the recording of Schini’s conversation with police before making a final decision. Schini’s trial is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday/

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.