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UPDATE: Porter County child sex abuse trial delayed; new date 6 years after it was filed
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UPDATE: Porter County child sex abuse trial delayed; new date 6 years after it was filed

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.

Ride along with Officer Jimmy Weller as he patrols the region's border of Lake Michigan as part of the Lake County Sheriff's Marine Unit. Video by Connor Burge. 

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.

Trial set after man backs out of plea in 5-year-old Porter County child sex case

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.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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