The Clay County Prosecutor's Office formally charged Brett Maesch, 20, Brazil, with class B child molestation in Clay County Circuit Court Nov. 23.
The charges stem from an investigation that began because of a break-in at a local church.
According to Clay County E911 dispatchers, a male was discovered asleep inside the church around 8:30 a.m., Nov. 12.
Upon arrival of the deputies, the suspect ran away from the church. John Clark, 19, Brazil, was later located in the Bowling Green Park with an unidentified female juvenile.
Both were taken into custody and transported to the Clay County Justice Center for questioning.
Investigators quickly discovered Clark, along with other unidentified individuals, had been allegedly going into the church over several nights to sleep, take food and some money.
While sorting out the details, several individuals were questioned by investigators, including two unidentified female juveniles. Due to the ages of the individual involved, investigators wanted to make sure no sexual activity had taken place between the older males and younger females. At that point, the rape allegations surfaced, not only against Clark, but also a second incident involving a second suspect, Brett Maesch.
Officials confirmed to The Brazil Times that both girls were initially interviewed in the presence of a parent and a Child Protective Services representative.
According to a probable cause affidavit on file at the courthouse, the 15-year-old female told investigators the alleged rape occurred in early October. The female said she woke on a couch, after being provided some type of medication for a headache earlier, to find herself naked except for a shirt and Clark climbing off her.
Apparently at some point during the incident the female asked if Clark ejaculated inside her during sexual intercourse, but he said no because he was "(messed) up" on pills he had been taking. The victim said she tried to tell others what happened, but wasn't believed.
The 11-year-old female told investigators the other female had confided in her and cried for three days afterward.
When the younger female was questioned further, she admitted to having sex with Maesch while staying the night at an empty house. However, she felt in some way to be pressured into having sex and asked Maesch to stop.
The girl then alleged other young men had dared Maesch to sleep with her, and when "boys are told they don't have the (guts) to do it, they will do it."
Both girls were released into parental custody as investigators gathered enough information to file charges. Parents were advised to take the girls to be medically checked and they would probably need to be questioned again.
During the continuing investigation, the owners of the two homes alleged to be scenes of the separate sexual incidents cooperated with authorities.
Meanwhile, Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger was advised of the serious nature of the allegations and that both suspects were out on conditions of bond in unrelated incidents. He confirmed the men should be taken into custody. Clark was preliminarily charged for the church break-in, while Maesch was taken into custody on the preliminary charges of rape, child molesting and sexual misconduct with a minor.
On Nov. 19, the Clay County Prosecutor's Office verified two D felony charges of residential entry and theft and three class A misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief and (2 counts) of criminal trespass were formally filed against Clark, however he has yet to be charged with any allegations involved in the subsequent rape investigation.
Officials confirmed Clark and Maesch would remain in custody at the jail for at least 15 days due to the violation of the individual release terms of their bonds.
Apparently Clark was sentenced to 18 months incarceration, which was all suspended, and placed on probation for a theft conviction in September, while Maesch was on probation for 11 months from a guilty plea in a battery case resulting in bodily injury from May 13.
Due to the serious nature of the allegations against the two men, the Clay County Prosecutor Office confirmed that no formal charges would be filed until a thorough investigation by the Clay County Sheriff's Department, Clay County Child Protective Services and other child welfare agencies could be completed.
Appearing to enter a not guilty plea before Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout on Nov. 23, Maesch was appointed Charles Hear as his defense attorney and a jury trial was tentatively scheduled for Feb. 7, 2011. A no contact order was issued in the case on behalf of the victim and (on Nov. 30) a motion to reduce Maesch's $100,000 cash bond (with no 10 percent allowed) was requested and scheduled for Dec. 20.
Maesch was remanded back into the custody of the Clay County Justice Center to await further court proceedings.
Clark currently remains incarcerated at CCJC on a $25,000 consecutive cash bond (with no 10 percent allowed) while awaiting further court proceedings. A jury trial has been tentatively scheduled in Clark's case for March 7, 2011.