News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

August 2, 2013

Public defender to represent third in alleged sexual assault of minor

TERRE HAUTE — A public defender has been appointed for one of three Terre Haute teens accused in the alleged sexual assault of a minor female who was allegedly incapacitated by drugs and alcohol.

Christopher Hayden, 19, appeared in Vigo Superior Court 5 on Thursday afternoon where he was assigned a Nov. 18 trial date and an Oct. 22 pretrial hearing date.

Special prosecutor Lee Reberger requested that bond for Hayden remain at $50,000 cash only, based on the charged of child exploitation, a class-C felony, and possession of child pornography, a class-D felony.

Judge Michael Rader kept the bond at $50,000 cash, but noted that if Hayden did post the bail money, he is to be on pretrial in-home detention monitored by GPS. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim or her family. Rader appointed attorney Gary Rider as public defender on the case.

Hayden was arrested Wednesday afternoon when he turned himself in to investigators at the Indiana State Police post at Putnamville after learning that he was wanted on a warrant.

According to probable cause affidavits that ISP First Sgt. Jeff Hearon submitted to the court, Hayden and two other teenage defendants attended an under-age drinking party at an apartment in the 500 block of South Fifth Street on June 30. They were accompanied by a 17-year-old female, and her friend — the alleged victim, who is a minor younger than age 16 but older than 12.

The other defendants -- Peter Joseph Tanoos II and Tucker Lee Ray, both 18, — were arrested Tuesday and appeared in court Wednesday morning. Tanoos was assigned a Dec. 16 trial date on charges of child exploitation, a class-C felony, and sexual battery, a class-D felony.

Ray has a Jan. 13 trial date on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, and child exploitation, both class-C felonies, and sexual battery, a class-D felony.

According to statements given to investigators, the alleged victim was given a “gummy bear” candy that had been laced with a drug. The girl became incapacitated and was carried to a car, which transported her and her older friend, as well as Hayden, Tanoos and Ray, to a local hotel where Ray allegedly rented a hotel room to spend the night. The court document states that Hayden told police he awoke during the night to see both Ray and Tanoos fondling the alleged victim, and he took a photo of them.

That photo, police said, was forwarded to a 19-year-old friend, who contacted the alleged victim about the incident and urged her to call police.

Hearon said police were able to recover copies of the photograph reportedly taken by Hayden from a cell phone. Police also said the photograph had been distributed via Hayden’s email account.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.


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