News and Tribune

January 7, 2013

Woman wanted in child molest case turns herself in

Charlestown woman was wanted by police for past three days

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

CHARLESTOWN — A Charlestown woman wanted by police since Friday surrendered to authorities Monday.

Charlestown police received information Friday morning that Juanita L. Fisher, 35, of the 300 block of Berkley Road, had cut her home incarceration tracking device from her ankle, stole her roommate’s credit card and skipped a sentencing hearing scheduled in Clark County later in the day. Her three-day flight resulted in the loss of a plea deal, an additional felonious escape charge and a two bonds totaling $175,000.

Charlestown Police Department Chief Keith McDonald said Fisher contacted the department Sunday night and told investigators she wanted to turn herself in. McDonald said a CPD detective suggested to Fisher that she turn herself to the nearest law enforcement agency.

Officials with the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex in Jeffersonville said Fisher was booked into the jail at 12:04 a.m. Monday.



THE HISTORY

Fisher had been placed on home incarceration in January 2012, following seven child molestation-related felony charges in August 2011.

A plea deal, stemming from the charges, had been reached with prosecutors, and Fisher was scheduled be sentenced Friday, Jan. 4.

Charlestown police reported Friday that Fisher was preliminarily charged with escape soon after her flight.

On Monday afternoon, Fisher appeared without counsel wearing a jail-issued, dark green jumpsuit in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1. Judge Daniel Moore presided over the hearing, and Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Linda Lamping represented the state.

During the hearing, Fisher was charged with escape, a class D felony.

Moore entered a not guilty plea on her behalf and placed her under a $25,000 cash-only bond.

Fisher is scheduled to return to the court for a pretrial conference on the escape charge March 7.

Moore informed Fisher that the plea agreement previously offered by Clark County prosecutors is now rejected by the court following her failure to appear for the sentencing hearing last week. Fisher’s home incarceration status, which was issued in January 2012, was also revoked, and she was placed under a $150,000 court-cash bond in reference to the 2011 charges.

Fisher was placed on home incarceration after being charged in August 2011 two counts child molesting, both class A felonies; incest, a class B felony; child molesting, class C felony; two counts vicarious sexual gratification, both class C felonies; and obstruction of justice, a class D felony.

Charlestown police reported in 2011 that Fisher was arrested on allegations surrounding various sexual acts involving children between the ages of 8 and 12 over the past four to five years.

Then-Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Brittany Blau said, at the time, that the abuse involved two children, a male and female, who are related to Fisher and that the allegations point to abuse that took place several years ago.

The accusations made in 2011 by a teenage boy, who was 8 or 9 years old during the time of the alleged abuse, include that Fisher would have sex with men in from of him and his sisters to teach them how to have sex, and that Fisher would tell him and his younger sister to take their clothes off and fondle each other while she watched.

Fisher previously told police that she has five children, and all of them live in different locations due to her past history with the Child Protective Services.

Fisher is scheduled to face the seven child sexual abuse charges during a jury trial March 5. The trial was previously set for Feb. 26.

Fisher is being represented in the sexual abuse case by William A. Gray. Gray declined to comment at this time in regards to his client’s case.