GREENFIELD — The wife of a man accused of sexually assaulting a young girl knew about the abuse and urged the victim not to report the crime, police said.
Lisa Early, 38, 7038 E. 10th St., Indianapolis, faces a charge of neglect amid allegations she begged a girl not to go to police after learning her husband, 39-year-old James Early of Indianapolis, forced the girl to have sex with him repeatedly for years, court documents state.
James Early was arrested this week and charged with sexual misconduct with a minor after a girl told police the man forced her to have sex almost daily for three years, court documents state.
The girl said James Early treated her like a girlfriend and once said he’d had dreams about them being married in a past life, court document state. He regularly gave her alcohol and drugs, including marijuana and anti-anxiety drugs Valium and Xanax, she told police.
Sometimes, the man grew violent, hitting and choking her, she said. The victim told police she was afraid of the man because he was bigger and stronger than she was, court documents state.
Earlier this year, the girl told James Early she was going to tell police about their relationship, court documents state. She learned he’d confided in his wife about the allegations when she received a phone call from her, reports state.
Lisa Early called the victim to say “she always knew something was going on” between James and the girl, and she wanted the girl to know she forgave them, court documents state.
The girl told police Lisa Early asked her not to tell anyone about the relationship, police said. The victim decided to report the abuse to police a few months later, according to police reports.
The two women exchanged text messages in late July, after the victim spoke with police about the allegations. In the messages, which were obtained by investigators, Lisa Early nervously questioned the girl about whether or not she’s spoken to anyone about James Early, police said.
“A detective called me yesterday wanting to question me and wouldn’t tell me what (it) is about,” one message from Lisa Early read, according to court documents. “I was scared you said something.”
James Early faces one count of sexual misconduct with a minor as a Class B felony, which carries a penalty of six to 20 years and up to $10,000 in fines. He also faces one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor as a Class A misdemeanor and one count of intimidation as a Class A misdemeanor; each carries a penalty of one year and up to $5,000 in fines. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
He is being held in the Hancock County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond, jail records show.
Lisa Early faces one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury as a Class C felony, which carries a penalty of two to eight years and up to $10,000 in fines.
A warrant for Lisa Early’s arrest has not been issued, court records show. She has been ordered to appear in Hancock Circuit Court on Aug. 16.