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June 25, 2014

New court dates set in teen sexual assault

TERRE HAUTE — An October trial date has been set for a Terre Haute teen connected to a June 2013 incident in which an allegedly intoxicated and unconscious minor female was sexually assaulted by three teens at a Terre Haute hotel.

Tucker Ray, 19, appeared Tuesday in Vigo Superior Court 5 where the Oct. 7 trial date was set.

Ray faces charges of sexual misconduct with a minor and child exploitation, both class-C felonies, along with class-D felony sexual battery. His earlier trial date in April was canceled because of discussion of a possible plea agreement.

Meanwhile, Christopher Hayden, who is now 20, faces charges of child exploitation and possession of child pornography. Hayden appeared in court Monday where Judge Michael Rader set a July 24 court hearing for possible submission of a guilty plea.

Peter Tanoos II, 19, who faces charges of child exploitation and sexual battery, had been scheduled for a trial to begin Tuesday. That trial was canceled on June 3, however, and a hearing date of July 7 was set for the possible submission of a plea agreement.

Rader also set a July 24 hearing date to check on the status of the Ray case and a Sept. 16 date for a pretrial hearing for Ray.

The three males were arrested in July 2013, as the result of an investigation by Indiana State Police into reports that the alleged victim — a minor younger than age 16 but older than 12 — and the defendants had attended an under-age drinking party at an apartment in the 500 block of South Fifth Street on June 30.

According to statements given to investigators, the alleged victim was given a “gummy bear” candy that had been laced with a drug. She then became incapacitated and was carried to a car, in which she was transported to a local hotel where Ray 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.


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