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Local man guilty of sexual misconduct

BY Samantha Oyler - soyler@chronicle-tribune.com

On Wednesday a Wabash Circuit Court jury found 38-year-old Steven R. Collins guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor. The case has been set for sentencing on July 15.

According to court recors, the misconduct occurred Nov. 26, 2017, when the victim, then 14 years old, was staying the night at Collins’s house in Liberty Mills.

The probable cause affidavit in the case states that at around 1:50 a.m., the victim was sitting on the living room couch with Collins, watching television when Collins started to move closer to her.

The affidavit states that Collins then touched the victim inappropriately and asked if she wanted to do anything. She said no and went to another room in the house.

After explaining what had happened, the victim then received a text message from Collins stating that he had something to say to her face, but she refused to leave the room.

At around 2:30 a.m., the victim left the house to meet a friend, but Collins caught up with her.

In the affidavit, the victim reported that Collins said, “It hurts my feelings that I hurt your feelings. … I didn’t mean to break our trust.”

According to the affidavit, officers spoke with Collins on Dec. 7, 2017, where Collins said, “that ain’t me.”

When she ran out of the house, Collins told investigators he followed because it was late and she was not supposed to leave the property.

When asked if the incident happened by accident, Collins stated he never touched her.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Collins on March 6, 2018.