Southern Indiana man faces judge on sex abuse charges

Date: 2008-05-29

By Maira Ansari

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) -- Detectives describe him as a monster who has gotten away with years of child sex abuse. 60 year old Charles Sparks was in a Clark County, Indiana courtroom Friday facing nearly 60 counts of child sex abuse involving his own family members. WAVE 3's Maira Ansari was in the courtroom and reports on the hearing.

Sparks plead not guilty to 58 counts of child sex abuse. According to a probable cause affidavit, the abuse involved three adopted family members and started twelve years ago when they were as young as 5.

"We had to do a lot of research. This case was something that we really had to look at due to the time frame going back to 1996," said Clark County deputy prosecutor Shelley Marble.

Det. Charlie Thompson of the Jeffersonville Police Department says the alleged abuse happened almost every day. According to court documents, Sparks sexually abused one of the girls as recently as five months ago.

Thompson says the victims tried to get help back in 2001. But the case was dismissed by Clark Superior Court even after Sparks failed a polygraph test. Thompson says the system failed the young girls.

"These three young girls left an abused childhood from their natural parents. They were put with a monster. Somehow or another. How they ended up back with this monster, I have no idea," said Thompson.

Detectives say Sparks wife Linda knew about the alleged abuse and could also face charges.

Sparks is a janitor at Parkview Middle School. Officials with the Greater Clark County School Corporation said they knew nothing of the allegations until his arrest. On Friday, they sent a letter notifying parents in the district, and tried to calm their fears.

"There is no indication that any of the allegations involving this situation occurred on school property or involved any students" said Superintendent Dr. Tony Bennett.

Bennett says there were no red flags in Sparks' background check because he was never convicted of a crime. Sparks has now been suspended from working at the school without pay.

He is being held at the Clark County Jail on a $100,000 dollar bond and is due back in court June 24th.


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