***WARNING: The following story contains graphic content not suitable for all readers***
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The abuse started when the little girl was five and continued for at least a year and a half.
She told her stories during an interview at the Dr. Bill Lewis Center for Children in Fort Wayne with details vivid enough to leave no doubt what occurred, according to Allen Superior Court documents.
This past Friday, Daniel Hobbs, the 38-year-old man accused of molesting the girl, was sentenced to 132 years in prison by Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull.
It’s one of the longest – if not the longest – sentences ever handed down for such charges in Allen County, according to Fort Wayne police sources.
It’s the second time Gull has sentenced a convicted child molester to a century in prison.
In 2002, she gave a man who repeatedly molested an 8-year-old girl – and videotaped it on at least one occasion – 100 years in prison in what was thought at the time to be the longest sentence handed out for such a crime in the county’s history, according to The News-Sentinel.
In the latest case, Hobbs was found guilty by a jury in mid-March of three counts of Level 1 felony child molesting and one count of Level 4 felony child molesting. He was sentenced to 40 years on each Level 1 charge amounting to 120 years and another 12 years on the lesser felony.
The victim explained during her interview that her mother worked at night, according to the probable cause affidavit written by Detective John Chambers, who has been investigating these kinds of crimes for about eight years.
Although the charges were filed in June 2018, Chambers said details contributing to the case and the COVID-19 outbreak – which caused delays to trials countywide – contributed to the case’s slow process through the legal system.
Although it’s not clear who the girl first told of her ordeal that began in 2016 and continued into 2018, her story appeared to be unassailable to detectives and the jury.
She said it began when she was in the bathtub when Hobbs “was peeking in at her” and then joined her. On more than one occasion, he performed sex acts on her and acted in a deliberately sexual manner. He also showed her “sexual pictures” on his cell phone, she said in court documents.
Sex acts were also performed in Hobbs’ bedroom, she said, and she named a “nasty” friend that she and Hobbs visited, although she didn’t accuse the friend of molesting her.
During one of the sex acts, she told Hobbs to “get off her, but he didn’t listen,” court documents said. The victim also knew slang for body parts that most 5- or 7- year-olds wouldn’t know. She recalled Hobbs wearing an orange work shirt.
Hobbs told her not to tell anyone about this “because he would go to jail.”
He will now leave the Allen County Jail for an Indiana prison.