Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt filed formal charges against alleged rapist Larry J. Sharps in Vigo County Courthouse late Friday afternoon.
Sharps is currently in custody at the Clay County Justice Center for his alleged involvement in the knifepoint abduction of a woman from her Terre Haute apartment early Sunday morning.
Officers will present the arrest warrant at the jail facility Friday evening, according to Modesitt.
Sharps was formally charged with burglary -- a class B felony (punishable by 6-20 years, $10,000), criminal confinement with deadly weapon -- a class B felony (punishable by 6-20 years, $10,000), and intimidation with deadly weapon -- a class C felony (punishable by 2-8 years, $10,000).
Modesitt has filed for a habitual offender charge against Sharps, which was also filed by the Clay County Prosecutor's Office Wednesday.
"We wouldn't have filed for the charge if we weren't very confident in proving it," Modesitt said.
According to Indiana Code 35-50-2-8, if Sharps is found guilty, the prosecution will have the opportunity in a second phase of the trial to attempt to prove that he is a habitual offender. A habitual offender is someone with at least two prior unrelated felony convictions proven by the State of Indiana.
If Sharps is proven to be a habitual offender, the court can sentence a him to an additional prison term that is not less than the advisory sentence for the underlying offense, nor more than three times the advisory sentence for the underlying offense.
Although Sharps is scheduled to appear before Superior Court Judge Blaine Akers for a jury trial scheduled for 1:30 p.m., March 10, 2008, Modesitt said that his office plans on pursuing a separate trial in Vigo County.
The Probable Cause Affidavit prepared by the Vigo County Prosecutor's Office contained more information about the case against Sharps, which Modesitt shared with The Brazil Times.
• Sharps was a maintenance man for the Ash Street apartment in Terre Haute, where the victim lived and was allegedly abducted from early Sunday morning at knifepoint.
• The witness, who was Sharps' pregnant 17-year-old girlfriend, was in the car which was allegedly used to transport the victim to a Brazil residence. (No charges are expected to be filed against the witness, who was aware of what was going on but was fearful for her own safety. Officials confirm she has fully cooperated with the investigation.)
• The victim, who was allegedly sexually attacked several times during her confinement, was taken to St. Vincent Clay Hospital for a medical evaluation and collection of evidence after she escaped.
Modesitt expects Sharps to appear for his preliminary arraignment at the Vigo County Courthouse early next week, but which court has yet to be determined.