News and Tribune

April 1, 2014

Jeffersonville man charged with incest

11-year-old claims sexual abuse in relative’s bed

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — A 31-year-old Jeffersonville man was charged in a Clark County court Tuesday with sex crimes on a juvenile family member, with whom he shares a home.

Anthony J. Hart, Elliott Avenue, was charged with class A felony child molesting and class B felony incest.

He is now incarcerated in the Clark County jail under a $50,000 cash-only bond.

The child’s mother contacted authorities about 7 a.m. March 10 after her 11-year-old daughter claimed she was sexually abused by Hart in the early morning.

The woman told a Jeffersonville police officer that when she had woken up that morning her two daughters were in bed with her, and Hart was in the bedroom the children shared.

When she asked the 11-year-old why the girls were in the bed, the child said Hart had put them there.

The mother told the girls to get ready for school and went into the kitchen.

“A few moments later [the child] came into the kitchen and said, ‘Mommy, I want to tell you something but [Hart] promised me not to tell,’” according to the probable cause affidavit.

Hart was expected home from work sometime around 7:30 a.m., but the mother reported not hearing him enter the home.

The child claims Hart entered her and her sister’s bedroom and told them to come to his and their mother’s bed. After getting into the bed, the child claims, Hart used his hand to penetrate her private area and attempted to have her touch him, but she refused.

After receiving the news, the mother went into the children’s bedroom and confronted Hart about the allegations.

The woman reported to police that she had told Hart she was going to call police, and he got dressed and left the home.

The child was taken for a forensic interview at Floyd Memorial Hospital. The examiner found the child’s genital area with “redness and pain,” according to affidavit.

Hart appeared for his initial appearance in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 with his private attorney Eric Weitzel.

Officials say Hart was notified that a warrant had been issued for his arrest March 27, and he surrendered himself to the court Tuesday.

During the hearing, a not guilty plea was entered and a jury trial was slated in October. At the close of the preceding, Hart was taken into custody and jailed.