- Special Sections
LARWILL â€” Doors chained. Windows nailed shut. A teenage girl gives birth to two children â€” all before the age of 18.
It sounds like a Hollywood horror movie â€” but itâ€™s not â€” itâ€™s the atrocious story of a child who lived unnoticed in the Whitley County area for five years.
After the perpetrator, Dean Pressler, 40, pleaded guilty in court to child molesting, child seduction and sexual misconduct with a minor this week, many are questioning how such a horrific crime could go unnoticed in a small Indiana town.
But how does one inquire about the unknown?
According to law enforcement case reports, the victim, who was 12 years old when she met Pressler, was made a â€śprisonerâ€ť in her own home.
Pressler was the victimâ€™s motherâ€™s boyfriend at the time, but after a â€śshort-livedâ€ť relationship due to the motherâ€™s â€śserious drug habit,â€ť the mom moved out and left Pressler with custody of the child.
â€śIt wasnâ€™t legal custody,â€ť Whitley County Prosecutor Matt Rentschler said. â€śThey signed a pseudo-legal document that purported to give Mr. Pressler some rights, and that was the end of the motherâ€™s involvement.â€ť
Leaving the victim in Presslerâ€™s custody may have been more of a blessing than a burden to the victim, as case reports state the mother forced her daughter, 11 years old at the time, to perform sexual acts on adult men in exchange for drugs.
Law enforcement is pursuing possible criminal charges against the mother of the victim.
After Pressler took custody of the girl, she nearly became a ghost to the public eye â€” living in five different homes in five years and attending three middle schools â€” two in Noble County.
To read the rest of this story, see the July 13-14 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.