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UPDATE: Jason Walden has been sentenced to 30 years, with 37 days of jail credit.

CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. — A jury convicted an East Chicago man of molesting a child since she was 7 years old.

A probable cause affidavit filed in the case shows the most recent case happened in June 2020 while Jason Walden was visiting the girl’s parents to help remodel their home. The girl told a forensic investigator that almost every time he came over, he would make her undress and do things to her, telling her not to tell her parents.

The child’s mother told investigators that Walden was a friend of theirs for about 15 years. In mid-April 2020, Walden started helping them remodel a home. While working on the renovation, she saw Walden and the girl go off alone frequently but didn’t think anything about it at the time.

The girl told a forensic investigator that he would take her places and do things of a sexual nature to her quickly. He would repeatedly try to do something to her even when she refused. This includes at the house when they were remodeling.

This isn’t the first time that Walden has faced similar charges. Clinton County Sheriff Rich Kelly says Walden has two previous acquittals for similar charges in Marion County.

“I am incredibly proud of our detectives who followed up on this case.  Walden has two previous acquittals for similar charges in Marion County, within the last several years.  The collaboration with Lafayette Police Department and the impeccable work by our investigations led to the conviction of this individual for his heinous crimes.  It is our number one mission to protect our children and our community.  Thank you to all of the officers who successfully closed this case.” 

Sheriff Rich Kelly 

Walden was found guilty of three counts of level 1 felony child molestation and two counts of level 4 child molestation by fondling. He is set to learn his sentence on September 6.