McCORDSVILLE — A former Hancock County judge will serve as the special prosecutor in a pending child molest case.

Hancock County Superior Court 1 Judge Terry Snow has selected his former colleague, Richard Culver, to lead the state’s case against Matthew Brooks of McCordsville, who faces two Level 1 felony counts of child molest.

Culver served on the bench in Hancock Circuit Court for nearly three decades before retiring in October and taking a job as a deputy prosecutor in Henry County.

The Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office recently asked that a special prosecutor be appointed to the handle the case they fielded against Brooks after the defendant hired an attorney married to a local deputy prosecutor.

Brooks hired Gillian Keiffner of Indianapolis to serve as his defense attorney, records show. She is the wife of John Keiffner, who works as a deputy prosecutor locally and oversees cases filed in Hancock County Superior Court 1.

Even though John Keiffner would not have handled the case against Brooks, Prosecutor Brent Eaton and his staff decided it was best to ask that outside counsel be brought in to handle the proceedings.

They filed a motion just before Christmas asking Snow to appoint a special prosecutor, and the request was approved last week when Snow announced Culver would return to Hancock County to handle the case.

Brooks’ will be the first criminal case Culver has worked as a prosecutor locally in more than 30 years.

A young child has accused Brooks, 41, 5693 N. Attleburg Drive, McCordsville of sexual assault, telling investigators the man touched her inappropriately while they were alone at his home, according to court documents.

Brooks faces two Level 1 felony counts of child molesting, court records show.

The allegations came to light in mid-December.

The child told a representative from the Indiana Department of Child Services she had been abused, court documents state. Based on the girl’s description of what happened to her, investigators believe Brooks forced the child to engage in a sex act, according to court documents.

The incident took place at Brooks’ home in McCordsville in his bedroom, the girl told investigators.

Brooks appeared in court Dec. 19 and pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces. He has since posed a $10,000 cash bond and was released from the county jail, records show.

Each of the Level 1 felony counts filed against him carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in jail.

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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.