PORTLAND, Ind. — A former Portland man was sentenced to 150 years in prison after he was found guilty of three counts of child molestation.
A habitual offender enhancement was tacked on due to prior pending litigation.
Court documents stated that the man, later identified as 29-year-old Zachary T. Harper sexually abused a 5-year-old girl.
In September 2022, the girl told Department of Child Protection Services workers that Harper would abuse her.
She went on to say in a later interview that she would tell Harper “no” and that he “didn’t listen to me.” The girl said, “I couldn’t move him because he’s really strong.”
According to court documents, Harper forced the girl to perform sexual acts and then told her not to tell anyone.
DCS used a diagram of the female and male body parts to point out what Harper did to her and she was able to point out the male’s genital area to demonstrate how she was abused. The girl went on to tell investigators that it sometimes made her feel nauseous when he would touch her.
In October 2022, police conducted an interview with Harper about the allegations of sexual abuse and molestation. Harper never admitted to the abuse and requested a lawyer.
He was charged with three counts of child molesting, all Level 1 felonies with a habitual offender enhancement on March 13, 2023.
Court records showed Harper was found guilty by a jury of all three counts on Sept. 22.
He was sentenced to a 45-year sentence for each count plus 15 years for the enhancement to be served consecutively for 150 years on Oct. 31.