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CROWN POINT — A Gary man faces 17 years in prison after admitting last week to allegations he molested a 12-year-old girl, struck a K-9 after police were called to the girl's home and possessed cocaine.

Jermaine E. Beck, 38, entered guilty pleas in two separate cases during a hearing Tuesday before Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez.

If Vasquez accepts his plea agreement, Beck would face 16 years in prison on felony charges of child molesting and striking a law enforcement animal and a consecutive one-year sentence on a felony count of possession of cocaine. 

Beck was arrested Oct. 1 after Gary police responded for the third time to the girl's home in the 2200 block of Rhode Island Street because of confrontations between Beck and the girl's parents, court records say.

Beck, who was known to the family, allegedly told the girl's mother he planned to drive her to a store Sept. 30. Instead, he parked in front of a home and forced the girl to have sex in the car, records allege.

The girl's mother met Beck and her daughter at the store and ordered the girl out of the car. Beck allegedly yelled out, "I didn't do nothing to your daughter!"

Police were called to the girl's home three times the following day. On the third call, an officer found Beck sitting in a car talking with family members, records say.

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When the officer approached, Beck sped off. He crashed a short distance away and ran into a wooded area, records say.

The officer ordered Beck to stop before releasing a K-9, which bit Beck's leg. Beck punched the dog in the head, continued running, then kicked it and attempted to choke it with its own collar after falling near railroad tracks.

The cocaine charge stemmed from allegations Beck sold about 3 grams of crack cocaine to a confidential informant March 14, 2018, at a Merrillville hotel, records show.

Beck's sentencing hearing is set for July 1.

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