A North Vernon man has been arrested on charges of rape, sexual battery and theft.
The charges stem from an incident last May.
Michael Loren Hartwell, 27, was booked into the Jennings County Jail on Tuesday on charges of rape, a Class B felony, and two Class D felony charges of sexual battery and theft. Bond was set at $40,000.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Hartwell is accused of raping a woman at her North Vernon residence, hitting her on the side of the face when she told him to leave and stealing cigarettes and electronics.
The incident was reported by the woman to police May 18 — the day she said the rape occurred — and an investigation was conducted by the North Vernon Police Department.
An arrest warrant was filed in Jennings Circuit Court last month.
According to court documents, the woman said Hartwell came to her residence because he knew her friend, and she let him sleep on her floor because “he had nowhere to go.”
She told police that when she went to bed Hartwell came into her bedroom and “forced himself on her” and raped her. At that time, her 15-year-old son was asleep in the house, according to court documents.
When she asked Hartwell to leave, he punched her in the side of the head and stole her DVDs, DVD player, electronic cigarette rolling machine, a bag of cigarette tobacco and a box of cigarette tubes, according to court documents.
She called police to report the incident and was soon taken to the St. Vincent Jennings Hospital emergency room. She was later taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.
When interviewed by police, Hartwell said he went to her apartment to drink and smoke marijuana after he was invited by the woman and her friend. He also told police she asked him to come into her bedroom but did not have sex because her friend, her friend’s daughter and the woman’s son were all there and could see into the room.
However, he admitted to consensually “kissing on her” in an intimate way. He also told police he left her residence hours before the time that the woman said, according to court documents.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Detective Jeffrey Day with the North Vernon Police Department originally investigated the case before he took the position as chief deputy with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.
In an incident report, Day said there was not enough evidence from the lab results received Oct. 16 to support the woman was raped by Hartwell. However, he said there was evidence for sexual battery or battery due to a bite that matched Hartwell’s DNA.
On Dec. 3, Day signed the probable cause affidavit for charges of rape, sexual battery and theft, according to court documents.
Detective Ivory Sandefur with the North Vernon Police Department took over the case in January. Criminal charges were filed in March, according to court documents.
Attempts to reach Jennings County Prosecutor Brian Belding, Sandefur or Day by phone were not returned by press time.