01/18/13 After a thorough investigation by Det. Lt. Duane Culp of the Marshall County Police Department, Timothy Neal Hatton was charged on July 28, 2011 with the offenses of Child Molesting as a Class A felony; Child Molesting as a Class C felony; Criminal Deviate Conduct as a Class B felony; Sexual Battery as a Class D felony; and Battery as a Class B misdemeanor. Extensive pre-trial proceedings were conducted and the case was set to begin a jury trial on November 13, 2012. At the deadline for accepting any type of plea agreement, Hatton plead guilty to one count of Child Molesting as a Class B felony on October 24, 2012. Pursuant to the agreement, the terms of the sentence were left up to Judge Robert O. Bowen of the Marshall Superior Court No. 1.
A sentencing hearing for Hatton was held on January 17, 2013 Chief Deputy Prosecutor Nelson Chipman argued for the maximum sentence allowed, emphasizing the seriousness of the offenses and the age of the victim. Defense attorney Tom A. Black asked for the minimum sentence allowed.
Judge Bowen sentenced Hatton to the maximum time allowed for a Class B felony of 20 years imprisonment at the Indiana Department of Corrections. The Judge suspended 5 years of the sentence and ordered the defendant to serve 15 years. Additionally he was ordered to serve 5 years of reporting probation after his incarceration and sexual offender terms were imposed. The Judge also designated Hatton a Violent Sexual Predator against Children which puts him in a restricted credit time classification and requires him to register as a sexual offender for his lifetime. Even with good behavior, Hatton is expected to serve at least 12 ½ years of imprisonment.