VALPARAISO — This week's trial has been delayed for a Griffith man who had backed out of a proposed plea agreement in a child sex abuse case just before sentencing earlier this summer.
Jason Gibbs, 45, now is set for trial March 7 — about six years after he was charged with inappropriately touching two 14-year-old girls in an alleged repeated pattern of abuse.
He also is accused of trying to bribe one girl to stay quiet.
Defense attorney Mark Chargualaf said he sought the delay to allow more time to gather information on the more serious two counts of child molesting that were added this summer to the case.
Gibbs also faces four felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, court records show.
Gibbs denied the allegations when questioned by police. When informed a voice stress test showed deception, he reportedly came up with an alternative explanation for one incident.
Gibbs terminated the interview and promised to return the next day, but he did not return, police said. He later was arrested and charged.
He had pleaded guilty in April to two of the three counts and faced up to four years behind bars on each count and a requirement to register as a sex offender, according to court documents.
But before his sentencing hearing in June before Porter Superior Court Judge Mike Fish, Gibbs recanted his guilty plea, and the judge rejected the proposal.
Gibbs requested his case go to trial and a date was set for Sept. 13, court records show. The defense filed a motion in August to continue the trial, and it was later granted.