FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A 23-year-old man who previously pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor received a six-year prison sentence Friday.
Allen County Prosecutors initially charged Ja Din with two counts of rape, three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and a count of sexual battery back in February 2021.
Din had been accused of driving a girl who was under 15 years old to a soccer field near a school and forcing himself on her after she told him her age.
As a part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Din admitted to two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. In exchange the prosecutor drop the other charges against him.
During a hearing in Allen Superior Court on Friday, defense attorney Jordan Lawrence Tandy tried to argue for a lenient sentence for Din.
Tandy said his client is now a devout Muslim and had been regularly attending Mosque every Friday since the incident. Din also has children, ages 2 and 3, dependent on him, Tandy said.
He also tried to argue that it would be “unfair” to impose the full weight of Indiana law onto Din, adding that in his client’s Burmese culture the girl he was accused of having sex with had already been married and divorced by her age.
Deputy prosecutor Rebecca Grove countered that despite Din’s culture, what he did and pleaded guilty to was still a crime – a serious one at that.
Plus, she pointed out that Din had previously given testimony saying the girl was at fault, trying to take the blame off himself.
Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull agreed.
“I’m offended by your victim blaming,” Gull told Din before handing down her sentence.
She ordered Din serve nine years in prison but suspended three of those years. She also ordered him to never have contact with the victim again.