Albrecht convicted of child molestingSeptember 9, 2020
By Herald Staff
JASPER — A former youth mentor has been convicted on two counts of child molesting.
Nathan C. Albrecht, 28, of Ferdinand, was found guilty Thursday, Sept. 3, after a two-day trial in Dubois County Circuit Court.
The charges in the case and subsequent conviction stem from an investigation that began on Aug. 20, 2019.
At that time, Officer Christian Gogel of the Ferdinand Police Department met with the mother of the victim, who had filed a report alleging the ongoing child molestation of her child by Albrecht for a period of six to nine months.
The victim’s mother told officers that her child was involved in a group called Mentors for Youth and that Mr. Albrecht had been the victim’s mentor for the previous two years.
“I want to thank my team at the Prosecutor’s office and the excellent work of the Ferdinand Police Department, Dubois County Sheriff’s Department Detective John Anderson, as well as the Forensic interviewers at the Child Advocacy Center for bringing this to trial and securing a conviction for the victim and the victim’s family," Dubois County Prosecutor Anthony Quinn noted at the time of the conviction. "The victim should also be commended for bravery in coming forward.”
A forensic interview was conducted by the Southwest Indiana Child Advocacy Center in Jasper on Aug. 22, 2019. Forensic interviews are done by professionals trained in interviewing child victims in cases alleging child sexual or other abuse. During that interview, the victim confirmed Albrecht had abused the victim on more than one occasion. The victim also reported to forensic interviewers that the abuse began toward the end of the last school year and continued through up to two weeks before his mother notified police.
On Aug. 23, 2019, officers Eric Hopkins, Tyler Foss and Deputy John Anderson brought Albrecht in for questioning at the Ferdinand Police Station. After being advised of his rights, Albrecht declined to be interviewed without a lawyer present, but stated he would need to have an attorney appointed to represent him. Albrecht was placed under arrest and charged with child molestation and child seduction at that time.
The jury trial — the first in Dubois County since the COVID-19 pandemic began — was held over two days as Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie Smith presented the case for the State. Members of the jury deliberated for two-and-a-half hours before handing down the guilty verdict.
Albrecht was convicted of two counts of child molestation as Level 1 felonies and one count of performance harmful to a minor as a Level 6 felony. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 1, 2020.
“I hope the swift outcome in this case will encourage other victims to come forward with the confidence that we will actively pursue justice and aggressively prosecute heinous crimes like these," Quinn said. "We will always work tirelessly to protect vulnerable youth in our community."
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