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UPDATE: Details released about rape investigation

Monday, October 29, 2007

Larry Joe Sharps
The Brazil City Police Department released more details about a Brazil man arrested on preliminary rape charges Sunday.

Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison confirmed to The Brazil Times late Sunday evening that Larry J. Sharps, 36, Brazil, was booked into the Clay County Justice Center around 6 p.m.

Due to the nature of the case, the Brazil City Police is working in conjunction with Terre Haute Police Department, with assistance provided by the Clay County Sheriff's Department.

On Monday, Harrison issued a press release showing Sharps' preliminary charges were updated to include kidnapping and criminal confinement.

The press release also provided additional details about the case.

Approximately 1:45 p.m. Sunday, the Brazil City Police Department responded to an "assault complaint" in the area of North Sherman Street.

When officers arrived at the scene, the victim said she had been threatened with a knife by the suspect and abducted from her Terre Haute residence. Sharp then drove her to Brazil, where she was allegedly sexually assaulted at a local residence during the early Sunday morning.

After the victim escaped from the home, she reported the incident to authorities.

Officials also released information about a witness who was present during most of the incident, confirming much of the victim's statement.

Officers obtained a search warrant for the suspect's residence and interviewed witnesses well into Sunday evening.

At approximately 5 p.m., after contacting the police department, Sharps voluntarily came into the Clay County Justice Center for an interview. Afterwards, he was arrested and booked into jail with a $25,000 bond.

Brazil patrolmen Andy Whittington and Clint McQueen have been assigned to the investigation.

When contacted by The Brazil Times, the Clay County Prosecutor's Office confirmed the case is under review for other potential charges Monday afternoon. Prosecutor Lee Reberger said while the case is under investigation the office will be unable to make further comments.

Sharps is expected to be arraigned on formal charges sometime Tuesday.

Currently on parole, Sharps was released from prison in February of 2007.

Registered as a "sex predator" on the Indiana Sheriff's Association Sex and Violent Offender Registry, Sharps' offender type is listed as a lifetime notification for a conviction for criminal deviate conduct. He is one of nine designated "sex predators" listed in Clay County as of a search of the website on Oct. 29 at 5 p.m.

Although unable to comment about Sharps' inclusion in the registry, Harrison encourages people to look at the registry frequently.

"Reality is we have offenders who live in the city and county," Harrison said about the registry, believing it should be used as an informational aid for public safety. "How else will people be able to be informed and be more alert to their surroundings and their safety if they don't use the site."

Harrison said the Terre Haute Police Dept. is reviewing case information developed by his department as part of their own investigation.

The Vigo County Prosecutor's Office is also reviewing the case for potential charges to file in their jurisdiction.

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Why do we let these monsters out after they have had a conviction against them? This could have been avoided, there need to be stiffer penalties for these offenders!

-- Posted by Southernized on Mon, Oct 29, 2007, at 9:22 PM

Ms. Jackson, Thank you for covering this story. This individual should have never been allowed to walk the streets freely. Please continue to follow this story! I want to read about him being locked away for life! My family will feel much safer when that happens. My prayers and thoughts go out to the woman who fought and changed the course of her life!

-- Posted by bamf247 on Mon, Oct 29, 2007, at 11:13 PM

Every year hundreds of guys like Sharps are released just so they can go out and committ the same crimes. Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to bring guys like this in and the next thing you know they are back out on the streets. Our justice system is literally a sad joke.

-- Posted by Jed on Tue, Oct 30, 2007, at 6:52 AM

This man was the maintenance man at the apartment complex that the victim lived in. How did this man get a job at an apartment complex with keys to each of the residents apartments? There was no background check or this man could not have gotten a job with the responsibilities that came with it. With his previous convictions they should have locked him up and never let him see the light of day. This would have never happened if the system did not let him out over again.

And each time he was released he turned around and did it again. Who are we protecting?? I am a family member and the victim and the rest of us (her family) will have to live with this horror. Can we not let this happen again to another innocent young girl?

-- Posted by Bodak55 on Tue, Oct 30, 2007, at 1:41 PM

My adopted 14 yr old Daughter and my 11 year old Granddaughter were repeatedly raped,sodomized and other acts too vile to list by a 14 yr old monster who lived in our home -he committed these acts for 7 years before it was finally discovered when one of the girls had a breakdown - he had threatened to kill the girls and they were truly afraid for their lives. He was taken to a local group home and went through juvenile court-guess what his sentence was probation until he's 18!!!Wow then what? So he can get out and rape again - these assaults were horrible and all of the authorities are aware of this but they say "he's just a child" NO he's not he gave up the right to be considered a child when he chose to commit adult crimes -this monster is left out of the group home every weekend and he's in your communities -who's gonna be his next victim??Our Family is being torn apart by this horrible situation everyday and no one is there to help us - why do the criminals get all the special treatment and no one cares what happens to the victims??He's scheduled for a 3 day "furlough" that they say he earned - when will my daughter and granddaughter get a "furlough" from the pain he has caused??Believe me this was not child's play-this person has no empathy,shows no remorse and has no conscience. His manipulative skills have allowed him to get away with this for years. By the way my daughter is mentally retarded which does not help her situation. These sexual monsters grow up to continue to molest and harm others so how can we stop them??

-- Posted by Brazilcoffeegrounds on Tue, Oct 30, 2007, at 2:18 PM

This person has been arrested twice before as tv 10 station reported. Kidnap and confinement, then stalking while on probation

just like this case..confinement, rape and other various charges why was he let out ??

Will Vigo county not file charges due to concurrent charges what about consecutive sentences ? Isn't it about time for a Habitual criminal Charge to keep in him prison !!!!!!! I did not see that one listed I think he already qualifies

-- Posted by Sidney on Tue, Oct 30, 2007, at 10:12 PM

i am not for or against the death penalty but, the whole world know's sexual offender's/predator's are incurable. so if there is a need for the death penalty surly it should be applied to an individual such as this.

-- Posted by X-Hooosier on Wed, Oct 31, 2007, at 5:43 PM

JRS5963, yes it is correct that he worked for the apartment complex and used his key to enter her apartment in the early hours of Sunday morning. I too very easily found this man on the sex offender registry. The apartment complex must not have taken the time to bother with looking. And yes, the victim is going to pursue all options available to her. We support her all the way. However, Vigo county may not at this time file charges against him leaving it all up to Clay County. We are appalled and are not going to let it get swept under the rug again!! There are more innocent girls out there that we need to protect from him in the future.

-- Posted by Bodak55 on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 1:20 PM

My daughter was Mr.Sharps' first victim (that we know of). This man continues to hurt us 13 years later. It is to bad that innocent people have to suffer because of these animals. I feel it is my fault that this man continues to be released from prison. My father was ready to shoot him for what he did to his granddaughter. Between dealing with the trial and being afraid my father would kill him (and my father spend the rest of his life in prison...) I was a basket case. Had I not protected Mr. Sharps from my father...there would not be another Sharps victim today. We are going to have to do something to stop this. I don't believe that these animals can be rehabilitated. We were to be contacted when he was released from prison the first time, but it didn't happen. We found out that he had been released after he was arrested the second time for stalking etc. Since then we have been following his release date in the Indiana Corrections website. We knew he was out of prison and when I read his name in the paper for "Alleged Rape" I wasn't surprised, just sick at my stomach. We feel so sorry for the new victim; however, we are resting better now that he is once again behind bars and we pray that it will be permanently.

-- Posted by Sharma on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 6:48 PM

I am the victim of the second incident, the stalking, which I do believe was about to be worse than that. I was also supposed to be let know when he was released from prison and I wasn't. The thing that gets me the most is he was sentenced to 14 years and only served 7. Why in the world was he let out on good behavior when that was his second offence and a violation of his parol from the first time. How can we make sure he goes to jail for a long time and not let out on "good behavior"? It makes me sick that he did this to someone else, my heart goes out to her.

-- Posted by ali on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 7:42 PM

I am the sister of Sharp's first victim. My mother is Sharma below. My sister was 16 yrs old when he abducted her by knifepoint. She didnt know him. He was a complete stranger. The media had a description of his car and TShirt for a few days, when finally, by the grace of god, someone called in on an anonymous tip, before they finally got him We are very grateful that we have my sister back alive. We are grateful that the current victim made it out alive. I have been telling everyone, anyone, that would listen, for several years, when he was to be released this past February 07, that he would kill the next time. I shudder to think what could have happened to this current victim had she not gotten away. That is why he needs to be put away for the rest of his life. He obviously cannot be rehabilitated and is a habitual sexual predator. We will do anything to help the current victim to put this scumbag away. We are behind the current victim 100 percent and we know this is no allegation. We know this is a fact. We know what he is capable of. If he would be released again, I have no doubt that the next girl will not be lucky. I believe that in my heart as I had believed in my heart it was going to happen again when he was released this year. It's a helpless power when you know it will happen again and you can't do a damn thing about it. My sister, the first victim, told me the other night, that she was so mad that someone had to be a victim again. What can we do to stop this madman? Is he going to get out in 10-20-30 years? You think 20 years will stop him? I dont think so. What is the solution? Let's pray that the judge makes the right decision in sentencing Sharps or otherwise he will have to take responsibility for Sharps if he would be released again. If released again, there will be another victim. Maybe a dead victim.

-- Posted by CricketWoman on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 8:44 PM

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