Jury hears testimony in child molestation case in Lawrence County Superior Court I

BEDFORD – A jury of 12 is hearing testimony in a child molestation case in Lawrence County Superior Court I.

Judge John Plummer III is presiding.

The state has rested their case and testimony will resume this afternoon with the defense presenting their case.

Joshua J. Stevens, 35, of Bedford, was arrested after a Bedford Police Department detective received a report on January 6, 2020, from the Indiana Department of Child Services alleging sexual abuse. Stevens faces five felony counts of child molesting.

Joshua Stevens

The victim was interviewed at Susie’s Place Child Advocacy Center and estimated the abuse occurred “around 90 times” in Bedford over the last seven years, according to the court records.

The victim testified the Thursday the abuse began at the age of 4 and lasted until she turned 11. She told her grandmother about the abuse on Thanksgiving in 2019 and the abuse stopped. Family members then contacted authorities about the abuse. The child’s mother worked long hours and the abuse occurred while she was working.

The victim told jurors that Stevens stated: “not to tell anyone, or I will go to jail and never see you again.”

Attorney Bruce Andis claims the victim fabricated her story because she didn’t want to live with her parents.

The trial is expected to go to the jury deliberation later this afternoon.