Anderson man facing child sex crime charges after officials say he abused a county girl

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Donald Ryan McNeely, 44, Anderson

HANCOCK COUNTY — The man told the 12-year-old girl he’d hurt her mother, “hit and abuse” her if the juvenile didn’t take part in sexual acts with him, officials in a probable cause affidavit said.

Law enforcement with the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office have filed multiple child sex crime charges against an Anderson man they say sexually abused a county girl for the past several years starting when the girl was only 12 years old, in the summer of 2021.

Donald Ryan McNeely, 44, 300 block E. 12th Street, Anderson, has been charged with a Level 4 felony count of child molestation, a Level 4 felony count of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Level 5 felony count of child solicitation, and three different Level 5 felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor stemming from incidents officials say started in August of 2021 and lasted through October of 2023.

Court records show the case was officially opened in late December of 2023 in Hancock County Circuit Court. That’s when Judge Scott Sirk issued a warrant for McNeely’s arrest. McNeely was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon by officials from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) who investigated the case.

According to the probable cause affidavit, an school resource officer (SRO) from the HCSD was called to one of the county’s junior high schools after a 14-year-old girl told a teacher at the junior high school she had been sexually molested by McNeely starting when she was 12 years old. The teacher reported what the student said to the Department of Child Services, the affidavit said.

Notes from the reporting of the crimes stated the child first refused McNeely’s advances but had to relent after he told her he’d hurt her mother if she didn’t take part in multiple sexual acts with him, the affidavit said. The incidents took place when the mother was asleep or gone, the report stated.

During a forensic interview at Zoey’s Place Child Advocacy Center in early November, the victim told officials about multiple incidents which she said occurred in Greenfield and in the county, the affidavit said. The victim then told officials McNeely had actually “raped” her during a recent fall break from school in October of 2023.

The affidavit noted that after that incident, the juvenile told her mother she had been raped by McNeely, the mother confronted him, McNeely left the residence and they had not seen him since. Officials stated in the report they were able to find text messages between the victim and McNeely corroborating the victim’s statements.

McNeely is slated to have an initial appearance in Circuit Court on Thursday. Until then, he’s being held in the county jail under no bond.