Guilty pleas in Child Molesting case lead to more than 30 years behind bars

(Photo: Decatur County Sheriff’s Office)

DECATUR COUNTY, IN — Donald Raye Church of Greensburg (pictured) has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than 33 years by Decatur Superior Court Judge Matthew Bailey.

Church was convicted on two counts of Child Molesting (Level 1 felonies), plus Domestic Battery and Intimidation (Level 5 felonies) in a separate case.

He pleaded guilty to molesting two different children and was sentenced to a total of 30 years in the Department of Correction, with no credit time applied.

Church will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years, including his credit time while he’s been held in the Decatur County Jail, on the Domestic Battery and Intimidation counts.

Decatur County Prosecutor Nate Harter praised the efforts of Chief Deputy Prosecutor Doug Brown, who represented the State in this case.

“These most serious of cases are emotionally taxing and require a serious investment of focus, time, and energy,” said Harter. “I am proud of the work Doug does on a regular basis to serve as a fierce advocate for justice. At the same time, he works well with victims of crime to ensure that their voices are heard and they are not retraumatized by the process.”

Church was accused of engaging in “other sexual conduct” repeatedly from 2017 to 2019 with two child victims, one born in 2004 and the other born in 2006. Because of the age of the children, Church will receive less credit time during his incarceration in prison than most felons.

Harter also recognized law enforcement for their work on these cases, specifically lead investigator and Decatur County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jean Burkert on the Child Molesting case and Sheriff’s deputies Rob Goodfellow, John Organist, and Devin Workman for their work on the Domestic Battery and Intimidation case.

“I remain moved by the bravery that child victims show when they come forward. I hate that crimes like this occur in our community, but we are all glad that we were able in this instance to pursue and secure justice for these two survivors of heinous acts,” Harter said.