An Indiana man accused of molesting two children won’t spend any time in jail despite tearfully admitting to touching one of the victims.
Ryan Nutter was acquitted by a jury in a previous case in July, and prosecutors offered him a plea deal to prevent him from walking free in the second case, reported WXIN-TV.
The 30-year-old Nutter pleaded guilty to two counts of Level 4 felony child molestation and was ordered to serve 12 years on probation and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, reported the Greenfield Reporter.
Nutter, who had been charged with six felony counts of child molestation, must spend the first four years of his probation on home detention.
Hancock Circuit Court Judge Richard Culver interrupted a hearing and met privately in his chambers with prosecutors and defense attorneys to question them about the terms of the plea agreement.
When they returned to the courtroom, the judge ordered Nutter to testify in detail about his abuse of the girl, and he cried as he admitted to inappropriately touching the teen multiple times while she had been left in his care.
Nutter, who owns a landscaping company in Greenfield, called 911 in February to report that a girl had made false allegations about him, and police arrested him after the teen reported the abuse to officers.
He was arrested again in April after sheriff’s deputies were notified of a second victim, who said Nutter abused her over several years.
Brent Eaton, the Hancock County prosecutor, said his office offered the plea agreement because Nutter had been acquitted in the first case, and he worried that jurors would disregard the second victim’s testimony.
“Mr. Nutter denied the allegations, he had not confessed, and so really we were going to be in a situation where we have to ask a jury to convict somebody of very serious crimes based upon the word of a child, and that’s something that’s a very difficult thing to do,” Eaton said.