VALPARAISO | Porter Superior Court Judge William Alexa accepted a plea agreement from Tara Tryon on Friday morning before security officers handcuffed and led her off to prison.
Tryon pleaded guilty to one count of child molestation and one count of child exploitation. She was sentenced to 10 years and eight years in prison, respectively, with the terms to run concurrently and no time suspended. Tryon committed those acts at a Chesterton home with a 2-year-old boy and his young sister and then sent photographs and videos to her then-boyfriend, Ryan Schroeder.
Schroeder, 27, of Center Township, who was in the U.S. Navy at the time, was sentenced to 54 years in prison in February after being found guilty on 23 felony counts, ranging from aiding child molestation to possession of child pornography.
It was Tryon’s testimony in Schroeder’s case that Alexa cited for his decision to accept the plea.
"Based on what I know, I would in no way accept this agreement. There were allegations that you didn’t do this on your own free will, which I reject. But it has come to light that your friend at the time (Schroeder) was doing this to other women at the same time he was doing it to you, and in exchange for this testimony I will accept your reduced plea. Taking him out of circulation is even more important than taking you out of circulation," Alexa said.
As the victim’s mother read her statement, making eye contact with Tryon who sat motionless in a shirt that exposed one shoulder, Tryon’s new husband shouted in an outburst and was ordered out of the courtroom by Alexa, who then held him in contempt of court. Timothy Madden later apologized in writing to the judge, court staff and security and was released.
"I had befriended you at work when no one else would, listening to you whine and cry about your boyfriend and trusted you with my two precious babies. I’ve tried to understand what went through your mind and what kind of company you keep. The judge has not seen the photos and video evidence, which has worked in your favor. You definitely made a scar on me and my son and I hope you seek the Lord’s forgiveness," said the victim’s mother.
The victim’s father said they had treated Tryon like family, welcoming her into their home and he recalled a conversation they had one day in their living room when Tryon complained about her boyfriend, Schroeder.
"When I asked you why you don’t break up with him, you said he had something really bad against you, pictures, and I thought you meant pictures of your body, not my son and my daughter. You knew my son couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk and had therapists coming to help him and you took advantage of him to satisfy yourself. You knew what you were doing. You knew it the whole time," the victim’s father said.
He continued, referencing Tryon’s newborn child, "As soon as you got out of jail last time you went and got pregnant, and I just hope you’re not touching this baby, too."