JEFFERSONVILLE — The Jeffersonville man sitting in a California jail on weapons charges is now charged with child molesting in Clark County.
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said James Howell, 20, is accused of having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl on May 31. Mull said Howell is believed to have met the girl through an adult friend.
"And the allegation is that he took this female, drove her to Henryville and parked the car and had sexual intercourse at that location," Mull said. "At some point an acquaintance of the juvenile became aware of this and law enforcement was notified."
Mull said Clark County Sheriff's Office detectives contacted Howell and told him of the allegations on June 7. Then on Sunday, June 12, Howell was arrested in Santa Monica, Calif., after police discovered assault rifles, high capacity magazine and explosives materials in his car.
Howell told police he was on his way to a gay pride parade, though it isn't clear what, if anything, he intended to do with the weapons. He is being held in the Los Angeles County jail on a $2 million bond.
"I think it's a logical conclusion that once he became aware that he was probably going to be imminently arrested, I think it's a logical conclusion to draw that he left [Clark County] as a result of that and went to California," Mull said.
Howell is currently on probation in Clark County in connection to a 2015 intimidation charge. In that case, Howell was accused of pointing a gun at his Charlestown neighbors.
As part of his probation, Howell was ordered to forfeit all weapons. Mull said it's the responsibility of the Clark County probation department to make sure Howell didn't have weapons following his sentencing. Chief Probation Officer Jaime Hayden could not be reached for comment by press time. A petition to revoke Howell's probation was filed Tuesday.
Once the case in California is resolved, Mull said he'll send sheriff's deputies to apprehend Howell on the Clark County charge. If convicted of the level 3 felony count of child molesting, Howell could face three to 16 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.