March 11, 2009

Dale Becht gets four years in prison for molesting

By MATT THACKER, News and Tribune (Indiana)

March 11, 2009

A 35-year-old man was sentenced to four years in prison and four years probation for child molesting in Clarksville, as the victim's mother spoke out about the pain he caused.

Earlier this year, Dale Loren Becht pleaded guilty to two counts of class C felony child molesting. Eleven counts of the same offense were dismissed by the state. On Tuesday, Becht was sentenced to four years in prison on each count as outlined in the plea agreement. Both counts will run concurrently, meaning it will result in no extra jail time.

The mother of the victim said she wished the sentence was longer, but agreed to the deal because she was afraid of losing the trial.

"I will never forgive you ever," she wrote in a letter to Becht, which she read aloud in court. "I hope you rot in jail."

According to a probable-cause affidavit, Becht molested a female family member from 2000 until 2006 at a home along Parkwood Drive in Clarksville.

The mother of the victim said her daughter has received treatment for depression and suicidal thoughts. She read a letter her daughter wrote. The victim, who is now in high school, wrote that she fears Becht will hurt her again when he is released from prison.

"If it was up to me, I'd make you spend your whole life in [prison], so you'd know what it feels like to not have a life," the victim wrote in the letter.

Becht was charged in August after the victim came forward once she heard that Becht had been punished for a similar offense in Floyd County.

In September 2007, Becht was sentenced to six months in the Floyd County Jail and one year suspension for sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl. That incident occurred along Paoli Pike in Floyds Knobs.

Becht's attorney said his client regrets his actions.

"Dale continues to express remorse for his actions," said Becht's attorney, William Gray. "His pleading guilty speaks volumes about his willingness to turn his life around."

Although the molestation in Clarksville took place prior to the offense in Floyds Knobs, the Floyd County prosecutor's office is still seeking to revoke Becht's probation. He was charged in Clark County while still serving his probation in Floyd County on the sexual misconduct charge. Gray said his client will be moved to the Floyd County Jail to deal with the revocation case.

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