April 30, 2009

Former sheriff Clarence Shepard gets probation for molesting girl

News-Press.com, Fort Meyers, FL

April 30, 2009

A former Indiana sheriff pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of lewd and lascivious conduct and he will serve 10 years on sexual offender probation and two years on house arrest.

Clarence Shepard, 77, was arrested in October after an 11-year-old girl, a daughter of a family friend, told her mother Shepard touched her inappropriately and said he asked her to touch him.

In court Tuesday, Shepard accepted the state's plea deal rather than face a trial on a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation, a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. The lewd and lascivious conduct charge is a second-degree felony.

Shepard was a sheriff in Vanderburgh County, Indiana for eight years in the 1980s and 1990s and he has more than 20 years in law enforcement. He later served as president of an association that represents all Indiana sheriffs before he retired to North Fort Myers in the early 1990s.

State attorney's office spokeswoman Samantha Syoen said Shepard will have to wear a GPS ankle bracelet throughout his entire term of probation. Sex offender probation requires defendants to avoid areas where children congregate, to take part in a sex offender treatment program and other requirements.


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