News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 24, 2013

Krantz sentenced to 16 years on molestation, pornography charges

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute man received a 16-year prison sentence on Wednesday after admitting to molesting a young child, transmitting nude images of that child and possessing child pornography.

Chauncey Krantz, 39, was also ordered by Vigo Superior Court 6 Judge Michael Lewis to register as a sex offender, have no contact with the victim or live within a mile of her in the future, and to have no contact with anyone younger than 16.

At the conclusion of a four-hour sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Krantz told Lewis he plans to appeal his sentencing.

Krantz was arrested in January 2012, after Terre Haute Police were tipped off that a person in the city was offering sexual encounters with a child to a person in another state via electronic messages.

Detective Jimmy Richardson testified that he was able to track instant messages and images to Krantz, who had pornographic images of children stored on his cell phone. Richardson was able to track down one child in the images as being a resident of Terre Haute.

Licensed mental health counselor Diane Smith testified that the young victim has exhibited emotional trauma because of sexual abuse at the hands of Krantz. The child will likely require therapy throughout her life, Smith said.

Krantz’s mother testified that her son was molested by a group of older boys when he was about age 5. She said she later learned that he had been molested on other occasions, and she reported that her son’s behavior changed about four years ago when he sustained a head injury in an accident.

Defense attorney Rowdy Williams also noted in court that Krantz has undergone a dramatic physical transformation since he was arrested a year ago. The defendant has lost about 90 pounds since his incarceration, and suffers from multiple physical problems that Krantz said cannot be treated by the jail medical staff.

Williams noted that Krantz was originally charged with two class-A felony counts of child molestation, along with child exploitation, a class-C felony, and possession of child pornography, a class-D felony, but that a plea agreement reduced the charges to two class-C felonies and  class-D felony. He asked that Krantz be sentenced to six years with three years suspended, and for Krantz’s placement in a local Christian recovery house.

Deputy Prosecutor Raeanna Moore asked for a full 19-year sentence in state prison.

In announcing the sentence, Judge Lewis said he gave no weight to Krantz’s claims of mental illness or injuries, and noted that Krantz has transferred his own trauma as a molested child to the victim in this case.

Lewis set the sentence at 16 years, and noted that Krantz will receive credit for the year he has already spent in the Vigo County Jail.

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