North Vernon man arrested on incest, child molesting charges

A 44-year-old Jennings County man linked to an investigation into incest and possible child molesting was arrested Monday afternoon, police report.

Jeffrey S. Newton of North Vernon faces a Level 1 felony charge of child molesting and a Level 4 felony charge of incest, according to a news release from Lt. Mike Mowery with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

Newton’s arrest stems from an investigation that began Sunday night when county officers took a report of possible child molesting and incest involving a child younger than age 14.

Sgt. Allen Ritchie and Detective Sgt. Jeff Jones headed the investigation into the alleged acts and obtained search warrants for Newton’s residence. He was arrested without incident at 4:39 p.m Monday after those warrants were served, police said.

Newton was booked into the Jennings County Jail at 5:50 p.m. Monday and was being held without bond pending his initial hearing.

A Level 1 felony charge of child molesting is punishable by 20 to 40 years in prison with a presumptive term of 30 years upon conviction. A Level 4 felony charge of incest with a person less than 16 years of age is punishable by two to 12 years in prison with a presumptive term of six years.