GREENFIELD — Nothing could outweigh the trust a Greenfield man violated when he repeatedly assaulted a child left in his care, and he’ll serve 40 years in prison as punishment, a judge decided Tuesday.
William Schini, 47, was sentenced to 40 years in the Indiana Department of Correction and will have to register as a sex offender after admitting he abused a young girl for several years, Hancock Circuit Court Judge Richard Culver ruled.
Schini pleaded guilty to a Class A felony of child molesting last month as part of a last-minute agreement with prosecutors to avoid going to trial. Ten other felony counts were dismissed as part of the agreement.
A girl came forward in late 2014 to report Schini had been abusing her since the summer of 2011, according to court records.
The victim and her mother testified in court Tuesday, telling the judge Schini’s actions had a lasting impact on their family and the man’s behavior will likely affect their lives for years to come.
“You just don’t do that to children,” the girl’s mother said in court.
Prior to sentencing, Deputy Prosecutor Georgeanna Teipen argued offenders like Schini should be locked away to ensure they don’t harm other children, and she asked the judge to sentence Schini to the maximum 50 years.
But Schini’s defense attorney, Michael Boring of New Palestine, disagreed.
The defendant read a statement aloud in court in which he apologized for his actions and asked the judge to show him mercy, and Boring asked the judge for a shorter, 20-year sentence, arguing his client has no prior convictions.
The defendant’s lack of a criminal history wasn’t enough to convince Culver to be as lenient as Boring requested.
Schini’s case nearly went to trial last month until a judge ruled a taped confession to police could be used against the defendant in court.
In 2014, after hearing of the allegations, Schini visited the Greenfield Police Department to talk with detectives. In the conversation, which was recorded by police, Schini confessed to harming the girl, investigators said.
But Schini’s defense attorney said Schini asked about a public defender at least four times during the conversations with police before signing a waiver and giving the confession.
A week before trial was set to begin, Boring asked that the statements his client made be suppressed from court records. But Culver ruled police acted appropriately while questioning Schini and decided the man’s confession could be used in court.
The decision led Schini to enter into an agreement with prosecutors hours before the trial was set to begin.
Schini was originally charged with 11 sexual assault-related charges: six counts of sexual misconduct with a minor; two counts of child molestation; one count of sexual battery; one count of attempted child molestation; and one count of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor.
He remained in the Hancock County Jail at press time awaiting transfer to a department of correction facility.