Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 14, 2014

Peru man pleads guilty to molesting 13-year-old girls

Husband and wife both take plea deals in child molestation case.

PERU — A 41-year-old Peru man pleaded guilty Thursday to molesting two 13-year-old girls in a plea deal that dropped four additional felony charges of child molestation.

Karl Wikstrom Jr. and his wife, Leslie, were arrested in August 2012 after Indiana State Police received reports of child molestation from the Miami County Department of Child Services.

According to police, the couple asked for and performed multiple sexual acts over a two-year period with two 13-year-old girls in the couple’s home in Peru.

According to an affidavit, one of the girls stated in an interview that Karl Wikstrom performed sexual acts with her 15 to 20 times. She said Leslie would ask her to perform the acts and was present when they occurred.

The affidavit stated the second victim said in an interview that Karl Wikstrom gave her “medicine,” and then she performed sexual acts with both Karl and Leslie Wikstrom.

Court documents state the incidents began in the spring of 2010, with the latest taking place in January 2012.

Miami County prosecutors struck a plea bargain last year with Leslie Wikstrom, who agreed to testify against her husband in the case.

The deal dropped four years off a 10-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea of aiding, inducing or causing child molesting.

The plea bargain struck Thursday with Karl Wikstrom calls for a 15-year prison sentence on two felony charges of child molestation, and drops four other child molestation charges, as well as a child solicitation charge.

A sentencing hearing is set for April 3 in Miami County Circuit Court, where Judge Tim Spahr will accept or reject the plea bargain.

A jury trial in the case was previously scheduled for May.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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