GREENFIELD — Local taxpayers might foot the bill for a private investigator to help the defense team for a Greenfield man accused of sexual assault, court records show.
A judge approved the request from the attorney for Mark Warren, a city of Greenfield employee facing a rape allegation; in addition to Warren’s attorney expenses, taxpayers will pay the expenses of a private investigator if one is needed to assist the defense going forward, records show.
Bryan Williams of Anderson was appointed to represent Warren, 40, 6245 N. County Road 250E, Greenfield, a few weeks after the man was charged with a single felony count of rape.
Warren was arrested in January after a woman said Warren harmed her after offering to help her get home after the pair had been out at a local bar with the woman’s friends; Warren admitted he was not invited to stay at the woman’s home, according to court documents.
Because of the case’s connection to local government, a special prosecutor was appointed and a public defender from outside the county was chosen to represent Warren, officials said.
Days after taking over Warren’s case, Williams asked Hancock Circuit Court Judge Richard Culver to allow him to hire a private attorney to assist him with the case. In a motion filed with the court, which Culver has approved, Williams said he needs an investigator to interview potential witnesses and create an adequate defense for his client.
Williams declined to comment on how much the investigator might cost if hired.
Williams told the Daily Reporter hiring a private investigator is a common practice among attorneys in Madison County.
Much like a police officer works alongside prosecutors as they build the state’s case, the private investigator aids in the defendant’s case, he said.
Williams said the private investigators typically help attorneys track down witnesses for depositions, or closed court interviews ahead of trial. If those witnesses cooperate, Williams might not need an investigator’s services, he said.
The crime Warren is accused of committing allegedly occurred in Fortville and was investigated by the Fortville Police Department earlier this year.
The victim told police she’s known Warren for several years, and he was at the same bar where she and some friends went for drinks on the night of the incident, according to court records.
The woman told friends she didn’t feel comfortable driving after drinking, and another friend offered to give her a ride home; Warren got into the same car, according to court documents.
The victim told police she woke up later that night to Warren assaulting her in her home, according to court documents.
She told investigators she did not remember asking Warren to come into her home after being dropped off there by their friend, records state.
The charge Warren faces is a Level 3 felony count, which carries a maximum penalty of 16 years in prison.
Warren was released from jail late last week after the judge agreed to lower his bond from $25,000 to $12,000; he is ordered not to have contact with the victim and is prohibited from going to the woman’s Fortville neighborhood.