Griffith man admits molesting teen at daughter's party

2012-05-23T18:30:00Z 2012-05-24T00:13:17Z Griffith man admits molesting teen at daughter's partyBy Susan Brown susan.brown@nwi.com, (219) 662-5325 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | A Griffith man accused of molesting two teenage girls during a party hosted by his daughter, then 12, was ordered Wednesday to serve a month in jail, a year in the county's Community Corrections program and five years on probation.

The sentence was part of a plea deal in which Vincent Gerber, 41, admitted to in 2008 permitting six teenage girls to drink at the party and later touching one of the girls, then 13, in a sexual manner.

Gerber pleaded guilty to a single felony count of child molesting and a single misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in exchange for prosecutors dismissing all other charges connected to the case.

As agreed in the plea deal, Lake Circuit Judge Diane Boswell also imposed a no contact order against Gerber forbidding him from any contact with the two girls who accused Gerber of having sexual contact with them at the party.

In addition, Boswell ordered Gerber to no longer reside in his father's home, which is less than 1,000 feet from Griffith High School, where one of the girls is a student.

Gerber must register as a sexual offender; registered sexual offenders are forbidden from living within certain distances of schools, day care centers and public parks.

Gerber's father, who suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis and requires daily assistance, pleaded with Boswell to allow Gerber to care for him in the home he shares with Gerber and his family.

Boswell was hesitant to punish the father for Gerber's indiscretions, but in the end forbade Gerber from living there. However, she allowed defense attorney Karen Coulis, of Merrillville, to ask the court for a modification if no other help could be found.

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