Jury gives verdict to man who abused children in ’Busco


COLUMBIA CITY — A jury of 10 men and two women returned a guilty verdict against a Huntington man, finding him guilty of three counts of child molesting, Class C felonies.

The jury deliberated for two hours before rendering their decision to James Heuer, Whitley County Circuit Court senior judge.

Monnier, 33, was charged with molesting three children in Churubusco between 2006 and 2008.

The children were all under the age of 10.

Each Class C felony has a sentencing range from 2 to 8 years in prison.

The two-day trial began last Wednesday and featured Whitley County Sheriff’s Department Detective Bill Brice, as well as the mother of the children. Testimony then continued with each of the children taking the stand and detailing the crimes committed against them.

Testimony resumed Thursday with Sgt. Matt Collins of the Indiana State Police laboratory division, who testified regarding a polygraph that Monnier failed regarding his sexual touching of the children.

The trial concluded Thursday afternoon following closing arguments.

Whitley County Prosecutor D.J. Sigler was pleased with the verdict.

“We had a thoughtful, deliberate jury,” Sigler said. “They were engaged throughout the trial and sifted through a great deal of evidence.”

The prosecutor also praised the strong investigative work of Brice, along with the efforts of the Indiana State Police.

“There should be no doubt that crimes against innocent children are the worst of the worst. The prosecution of this case and the verdict of the jury sends a clear message that this conduct simply won’t be tolerated in Whitley County.”

Monnier will be sentenced March 20 at 10 a.m. in Whitley Circuit Court.

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