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Man gets four years for child molesting

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, March 03, 2017 12:40 pm
A Fort Wayne man sobbed as an Allen Superior Court judge passed sentence on him for molesting a a 10-year-old child in 2014. Dontea T. Sanders, 33, of the 800 block of Villa Park Court, was sentenced Friday in Allen Superior Court to serve four years of a 10-year sentence for child molesting, a Level 4 felony. Six years were ordered suspended, which will be served on probation. Sanders was remanded into custody to begin serving the executed part of his sentence. Five other child molesting charges were dismissed at sentencing.

Family members from both sides spoke at the marathon sentencing hearing. The girl's grandmother testified on Friday that two people are supposed to choose who they give themselves to, while her granddaughter did not. She wished Sanders would not have the choice of his next partner "when the steel doors shut."

Sanders pleaded guilty Jan. 6 to molesting the girl in his home between June 1 and Nov. 30 in 2014. The girl was age 10 at the time her mother and grandmother reported the alleged molesting to police in December 2014, court documents said.

Sanders' family members testified one by one that he was not guilty of the offense, despite his guilty plea. After repeated admonishments to speak only of his character, family members continued to say he was not a child molester.

The mother of his two youngest children told Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck, "You're ruining children's lives."

Defense attorney Michelle Kraus said, "He's the best father to his two children, who will suffer and not understand the significance. His family cannot believe he's guilty."

Sanders who stood and read a letter through tears said, "I stand a broken-hearted man, but I continue to stand."

He continued to sob and hang his head down as Surbeck delivered the sentence.

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