MEDIA ADVISORYSeptember 10, 2013TROUBLED YOUNG MAN WAS THE VICTIM OF ABUSE AT THE HANDS OF HIS UNCLEMedia Contact: Curtis T. Hill, Jr. 296-1888***On Tuesday, August 27, 2013, a 22-year-old male testified before an Elkhart County jury that when he was 13 years old his uncle, James E. Hinkle, had caused him to submit to an act of deviate sexual conduct during a 2004 summer vacation in Elkhart. Returning to Elkhart the following summer, the sexual abuse continued. During a 2008 family meeting centering on his escalating bad behavior, the young man then disclosed what had been occurring during his summer visits. Questioned by the State, the victim said that he had liked going to visit “Uncle Jim” because he would let him do “whatever” he wanted. While he knew what was happening was wrong, at least “it was something new.” He went on to tell the jury in sufficient detail, the inappropriate sexual acts to which he had been subjected. The defense maintained that the victim had fabricated his allegations in order to avoid being supervised 24 hours a day, and that the victim was not trustworthy given his own troubles with the law. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Susan Snyder, argued that “you don’t throw a whole life away because it’s a little banged up,” and that any person that enters a courtroom to explain how a trusted adult had perpetrated abuse is entitled to the protection of the constitution notwithstanding a troubled past. She reminded the jury that it was their obligation to base their verdict upon the evidence presented and its application to the law, even as it might appear unpopular to do so. At sentencing on September 26, 2013, the defendant faces up to 53 years in prison.***Under Indiana law, all persons arrested for a criminal offense are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.