LAFAYETTE, Ind. (TCD) -- A 42-year-old man was sentenced to 90 years in prison Thursday for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a young girl.
Indiana court records show James Chadwell will serve time in prison for attempted murder and child molesting. He initially faced two previous charges, along with kidnapping where the victim is less than 14 years of age, criminal confinement resulting in serious bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury to person under 14, and strangulation.
According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, he was not sentenced for battery, strangulation, kidnapping, and criminal confinement in order to prevent double jeopardy issues. Chadwell will be eligible for release after 71 years.
Tippecanoe Superior Judge Steven Meyer reportedly told Chadwell during his sentencing hearing, "I am struck by the overall seriousness. It began with a little girl coming to Mr. Chadwell’s door asking to pet a dog. Such a sweet gesture. You let her into your house and almost immediately savagely attacked her."
Meyer read a letter the victim’s grandmother wrote to the court, which said, "She was only 9. That sparkle in her eyes; it’s gone."
According to WXIN-TV, which cites court documents, on April 19, Chadwell invited the little girl into his home to pet his dogs. The girl told investigators Chadwell strangled her, which made her pass out. When she woke up, he was reportedly sexually assaulting her and her clothes were off.
WTHR-TV reports the girl said Chadwell threatened to kill her if she screamed.
According to WTHR, the victim’s parents called police and said she had been missing for about 30 minutes. Chadwell reportedly told Lafayette Police the girl had been in his home but was no longer there. His house is reportedly about one minute away from where the victim lives.
Lafayette Police reportedly returned to Chadwell’s home and searched his property. They found her in the basement with injuries on her body, including a dog bite. WKIN reports she had bruises on her arms and legs and signs of strangulation on her neck.
WTHR reports Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington said in a statement, "The victim fought the defendant, and is a true survivor of this unimaginable attack. The family thanked the Lafayette Police Officers for their outstanding effort to quickly locate the victim and save her from any further harm."