‘I feel like you stole my childhood’: Gary man sentenced to 169 years for child molesting

‘I feel like you stole my childhood’: Gary man sentenced to 169 years for child molesting

A Gary man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was sentenced Tuesday to 169 years for molesting two young preteen girls.

Joshua Hansen, 32, who is white, indicated he will appeal.

“I feel like you stole my childhood,” one victim wrote in a letter to the court.

Judge Salvador Vasquez told Hansen it was among the most “horrendous” child molesting cases he’d seen in his legal career.

Hansen deserved more prison time, but the judge said he had to balance that without fueling a potential appeal.

Charging documents painted a house of horrors — particularly over Christmas 2022 — where the two girls were subjected to vile sexual abuse. The allegations for both victims first date back to around Kindergarten.

Hansen denied wrongdoing at trial when he testified.

Deputy Prosecutor Tara Villarreal said she won’t forget some of the worst details.

The victim’s grandmother said in court that Hansen instilled fear and manipulated them. The girls “may never recover.”

“Their innocence is gone,” she said. “They are adults in little bodies.”

Villarreal read letters from both victims.

“You are a disgusting person,” the younger girl wrote. “I am thankful you are going to jail for all the pain you caused me.”

Defense lawyer Marc Laterzo said Hansen led mostly a “law-abiding life” and wasn’t “completely a lost cause.”

The allegations were “certainly troubling” and “deserving of punishment.”

He asked for 40 years.

Villarreal said Hansen is legally considered a “sexually violent predator” and credit-restricted felon, meaning he has to serve at least 85% of his time.

He didn’t have an intense criminal record, but “most child molesters” don’t “until they get caught,” she said. The evidence was “overwhelming.”

She asked for 160 years.

The younger girl talked “nonchalantly” about the abuse as if she was a “consenting adult.”

It was “just unbelievable,” Villarreal said.

Hansen declined to speak in court.

Factors into the sentencing included two victims, their ages and that Hansen violated a position of trust.

“These are babies,” Vasquez said.

The two victims told police that they were first molested by Hansen years earlier around ages 4 or 5. Hansen began molesting them again “several” times in the summer of 2022 and again around Christmas, according to a criminal affidavit, when — among several other accusations — he allegedly separately tried to have sex with both victims.

“Come on, you’re gonna make me cry, you know I haven’t had it since my girlfriend left me,” he told one girl.

He showed the children pornography, according to the affidavit.

When police executed a search warrant at his trailer on the 4700 block of Marshall Court in Gary, they found sex toys and paraphernalia, and pornography web searches. They removed a tablet for evidence.

They also found child pornography on his cellphone. In total, it had 46,000 pornographic web searches or URLs, according to the affidavit.

DNA evidence appeared to corroborate the children’s accounts, according to the affidavit.

mcolias@post-trib.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *