Church arrested for child molesting

James R Church

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A Terre Haute man finds himself back in jail after a weekend arrest, and police are crediting a brave 10 year old child with helping to make this man’s arrest a quick one.  The suspect also has a checkered past.

According to the Terre Haute Police Department, James Church used kittens to lure the 10 year old victim into his home, where she says he inappropriately touched her and showed her a pornographic movie.  Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said one key in this case is that the child immediately told her mother about this incident.

“It’s critical in any case for a child to be told by their parents that if anything ever happens you need to tell us,” said Modesitt.

In the affidavit filed with the court, police say the child’s mother didn’t sit on this information.  Assistant Chief Shawn Keen says the mother got a police report filed quickly, which helped them to make a quick arrest.

“It doesn’t always happen that way, whether it’s fear of reprisal from the child has been threatened,” said keen.  “A lot of times, we won’t hear about it until there have been multiple incidents of abuse.  So it’s very important that they’re able to speak to their parents, and in this case they did so relatively quickly.”

This is not the first brush with the law for James Church.  Court records show that he was convicted of both rape and attempted murder back in March of 1983.  In fact, police wanted an arrest warrant for church prior to speaking with him.  Police said in court records they feared church would flee if he knew police wanted to talk to him.

A judge set a December first trial date for James Church, who continues to be held in the Vigo County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Both Terre Haute Police and the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment further on Church’s criminal history.  City police did say, in general, they do consider a person’s criminal history when determining how to handle that person’s case against them. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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