(Michigan City, IN) - A Michigan City man could face a potential lengthy prison sentence on allegations he sexually violated an elementary school girl. Mark Handtke, 36, is charged in La Porte Superior Court 1 with three counts of child molesting.
According to court documents, authorities were contacted in late September after the seven-year old girl told her mother about the alleged encounters. Handtke is accused of touching the girl in a sexual manner more than once over a several month period and making her pleasure him on at least one occasion.
The documents also revealed that the girl’s mother told investigators she became suspicious after seeing Handtke earlier this year playing with her daughter’s hair and telling her she was “beautiful.” The mother also told police her daughter always denied there was anything sexual happening until just recently.
Handtke and the woman lived together while the girl often stayed at their residence, authorities said. Handtke told investigators he was often responsible for watching the girl while her mother was working. He has denied molesting the girl, police said.
Each of the two level 1 felony counts against Handtke carry sentencing range of 20 to 40 years while the remaining level 4 felony count mandates anywhere from 2 to 12 years. He was being held in the La Porte County Jail on $100,000 bond.