LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Lafayette man who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a little girl in April has been sentenced to 90 years in prison.
James Chadwell II pleaded guilty to attempted murder and child molesting. A judge sentenced him Thursday; the sentence includes a 20-year enhancement for being a habitual offender.
Police took Chadwell into custody on April 19.
According to court documents, Chadwell lured the 9-year-old into his home by inviting her to pet his dogs, the girl told investigators.
The girl said once she came inside Chadwell’s home, he attacked and strangled her, causing her to pass out. When she awoke, she discovered most of her clothing was missing.
The girl’s parents had reported her missing around 7 p.m., and Chadwell told police she’d been by his house earlier in the evening but had since left.
Police returned to Chadwell’s residence during their efforts to find the girl and received permission to look inside. Officers found the basement door secured with a chain lock. When they went downstairs, they found the little girl crying. She told police Chadwell had sexually assaulted her and tried to kill her.
Her injuries included bruises on her head, arms and legs, as well as signs of strangulation on her neck. She also had what appeared to be dog bites on her legs, according to investigators.
Chadwell had previously asked for a change of venue for his trial, although a judge denied that request. He pleaded guilty in October.
With Thursday’s sentencing, Chadwell will not be eligible for parole until 2091.
From Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington:
“The victim fought the defendant, and is a true survivor of this unimageable attack. The family thanked the Lafayette Police Officers for their outstanding effort to quickly locate the victim, and save her from any further harm”.