Jury convicts Portage man of molesting four boys

2013-12-19T18:29:00Z 2014-02-25T12:03:11Z Jury convicts Portage man of molesting four boysBy Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
December 19, 2013 6:29 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | Portage resident Christopher Truman was found guilty on nine counts of molestation Thursday night, according to court officials. 

Truman, 39, is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 25. He was convicted of sexually abusing four boys and/or young men when they were children over a period of several years.

Defense attorney Larry Rogers said evidence presented this week by prosecutors was made up of outrageous testimony lacking corroboration and an adequate police investigation.

"This case ought to scare everyone in the courtroom," Rogers told jurors as part of final arguments in this week's trial.

Truman was found guilty of three Class A felony counts of child molesting, each carrying a potential sentence of 20 to 50 years behind bars. He also faces one Class B felony (six to 20 years) and five Class C felonies (two to eight years).

Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek accused the defense Thursday of trying to place the focus anywhere but on Truman.

"So put it on the boys," she said. "So put it on the investigation."

Polarek said molestation is a "private crime" that often lacks physical evidence.

"They want you to believe it's a huge conspiracy, but they haven't given you any reason why," she said.

Two of the boys told investigators the abuse occurred when Truman took them to Portage hotels, where they would swim, watch television and eat pizza.

The younger of the two boys said Truman took him to the hotel about three times a month since he was 7. The older boy said his abuse occurred at home and at hotels.

Another purported victim, who was 21 when the case came to light, told police Truman stepped in to fill the shoes of his absent father and routinely molested him between the ages of 11 and 17.

A fourth purported victim, who said Truman was close enough to his family that he referred to him as an uncle, said he awoke one night to find Truman molesting him.

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