Man charged with child molesting, battery

A rural Seymour man faces three Level 4 felony charges of child molesting and a Level 6 felony count of domestic battery after a recent incident.

Johnny Riley Jonas, 30, was arrested Nov. 26 after Officer Adam Nicholson with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a family fight in the northeast area of the county.

Through his investigation, Nicholson learned that Jonas had battered his 24-year-old wife. None of the wife’s children were present for the altercation, but one did come to investigate after hearing something fall to the floor when her mother was pushed up against a freezer, Nicholson said.

The altercation came about because of accusations that Jonas had been inappropriately touching two individuals under the age of 5, Nicholson said.

The Indiana Department of Child Services was called to assist with the investigation, along with Detective Bob Lucas, a crime scene investigator with the sheriff’s department.

Nicholson, Lucas and a DCS official met with the mother and two children involved at Susie’s Place, a child advocacy center in Bloomington that specializes in interviewing children with these types of cases.

As a result of the investigation, Jonas was arrested on two counts of child molesting and one count of domestic battery. He was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 6:21 p.m. Nov. 26.

The case was sent to Jackson County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant for review. After reviewing the case, Chalfant filed an additional count of child molesting.

If convicted, Jonas faces two to 12 years of prison time for each count of child molesting and six months to two and a half years for domestic battery.

Reserve Officers Steve Murphy and Rick Hirtzel assisted Nicholson at the scene.

Author photo
Aaron Piper is a photographer and reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at apiper@tribtown.com or 812-523-7057.