Child molestation alleged in court documents

Staff Writer

    A Decatur man is facing four felony counts involving children following an investigation by the Decatur Police Department.
    Eric M. Hartsough, 35, was arrested Tuesday by Adams County Sheriff’s deputies on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, sexual misconduct with a minor including fondling/touching, and two counts of child molesting.
    According to a probable cause affidavit released by Adams County Prosecutor Jeremy Brown, Decatur Police Lieutenant Chris Brite was contacted in early May by an employee of Child Protective Services regarding the incidents.
    A child younger than 16 years of age alleged she was abused by Hartsough in July of last year. The alleged victim was taken to the Bill Lewis Center in Fort Wayne to be interviewed regarding the charges, according to the affidavit.
    During the interview, the victim allegedly stated while at Hartsough’s home she was given alcoholic beverages to drink before being taken to Harsough’s bedroom. The alleged victim reportedly told investigators Hartsough regularly dressed in women’s clothing and described in detail Hartsough’s attire at the time of the incident.
    Hartsough then allegedly removed the child’s clothing and began inappropriately touching the juvenile with his hand and mouth, the court documents state.
    Following the allegations by the first victim, DCS opened a second investigation regarding another alleged victim, also under the age of 16 years old.
    The second reported victim was also taken for a forensic interview, at which time she alleged Hartsough had touched her inappropriately, identifying for investigators the area on her body he allegedly touched on an anatomically correct drawing, according to the affidavit.
    The victim allegedly reported Hartsough has “touched her privates” on more than one occasion while at his residence, with the most recent incident taking place in May of this year, the court documents state.
    The second victim also stated Hartsough wears women’s clothing and underclothing and described in detail what Hartsough was wearing at the time of the alleged incident, according to the affidavit.
    In executing a search warrant at Hartsough’s home, Brite stated he located several items of women’s clothing, including bras, underwear, lingerie and other items described by the alleged victims, the court documents state.
    Hartsough is currently being held in the Adams County jail without bond.