Prosecutor: Man charged with rape could have faced longer jail sentence if not for new legislation

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Ira Link

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GREENWOOD, Ind. (May 7, 2015)– Court documents reveal disturbing new information regarding the rape of a 71-year-old Greenwood woman.

The woman was attacked inside her home in the Valle Vista neighborhood Friday. She was asked for jewelery, but did not have any. Instead, she gave the man money. She was then forced to perform sex acts and was raped. The victim said she feared Link would hurt her worse if she didn’t do as he asked.

Ira Link, 42, was apprehended by Beech Grove police Saturday morning after he bolted from his mother’s car in the 1100 block of Bethel Avenue. According to police, Link was threatening suicide before his arrest.

Court documents show that Link washed the woman with soap after the attack in an attempt to remove DNA evidence. The repeat sex offender now faces charges of rape and burglary.

He served more than 20 years in Indiana prisons for his 1993 convictions on two counts of child molestation. He was released from custody June 6, 2014, and registered five days later with the Marion County Sheriff’s office as a sexually violent predator.

Link faces up to 63 years in prison if convicted, but would be eligible for early release. Before changes made by lawmakers last year, Link’s maximum sentence would have been 168 years with no early release on the table.

Johnson County Prosecutor Bradley Cooper says the new law, which he calls the “hug-a-thug” law, drastically reduced the potential sentence.

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