Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 14, 2013

Deal struck in child molest case

Wife to testify against husband for reduced sentence.

By Carson Gerber
Tribune staff writer

Peru — Miami County prosecutors have struck a plea bargain with a 36-year-old Peru woman, who has agreed to testify against her husband in a child molestation case.

Leslie Wikstrom pleaded guilty last month to aiding, inducing or causing child molesting. In turn, prosecutors agreed to drop four years off her 10-year prison sentence.

Her 40-year-old husband, Karl, faces five class A felony charges of child molestation, and one class D charge of child solicitation. A trial date has been set for June.

Prosecutor Bruce Embrey called the plea deal “generous,” but said it was necessary to secure Leslie Wikstrom’s testimony against her husband.

The two were arrested in August 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 gave her “medicine,” and then she performed sexual acts with both Karl and Leslie.

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

Karl Wikstrom could face a more than 100-year prison sentence if convicted.

Carson Gerber is a Kokomo Tribune reporter. He may be reached at 765-854-6739, or by email at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.