CROWN POINT — A judge granted bail Tuesday for a Merrillville man accused of forcing a teenage relative to repeatedly have sex with him, eventually causing her to become pregnant.
Marshall Wesley, 37, has pleaded not guilty to two level 1 felony charges of child molesting and a level 4 felony count of incest.
Wesley's attorney, Lonnie Randolph II, asked Lake Criminal Court Judge Clarence Murray to set Wesley's bail at $25,000 surety or $2,500 cash.
The case was the first time Wesley has been arrested, and he has ties to the community, Randolph said. Wesley worked in health care services before his arrest and agreed to a no contact order, he said.
Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Nadia Wardrip asked Murray to set bail at $50,000 surety or $5,000 cash — the highest allowable under the guidelines. She said Wesley gave a full confession and could be considered a flight risk.
Wardrip also corrected Randolph, saying Wesley had five — not four — children because his relative gave birth to his child.
After a discussion at the bench, Murray set Wesley's bond at $50,000 surety or $5,000 cash.
The alleged sexual abuse began in spring 2015, when the girl was 13 years old, and continued until spring 2016, when the girl realized she was pregnant, according to court records.
The girl's family found out about the abuse, but initially decided to forgive Wesley, records say.
"She was told when she went to the hospital to have the baby to say that a 15-year-old boy impregnated her, which she did," records state.
It's unclear in the court record when the case first came to the attention of police, who interviewed the girl.
A detective interviewed Wesley in June. He allegedly admitted to having sex with his relative and impregnating her.