ELKHART — A Wakarusa man who admitted to chaining up and sexually abusing family members received a 35-year sentence Thursday.
Jarrod Gosser, 43, pleaded guilty in June to child molesting as a Class A felony. He was sentenced to 20 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections followed by 15 years of suspended prison time, 10 years of which will be served on reporting probation.
Another seven charges were dismissed when Elkhart County Superior Court 3 Judge Theresa Cataldo sentenced Gosser under the terms of his plea agreement. They include two counts of rape as a Level 3 felony, and battery on a child and criminal confinement resulting in injury, both Level 5 felonies.
They also include two counts of confinement as Level 6 felonies and misdemeanor domestic battery.
Cataldo said a no-contact order must be issued on behalf of all of Gosser’s victims and ordered that he be responsible for restitution for counseling. She said he must obtain a risk assessment at a sex offender-specific provider and complete follow-up treatment as recommended, as well as registering as a sex offender.
Gosser will be on zero tolerance, according to the sentencing order.
Gosser was arrested in August 2017 following a police investigation into incidents going back to late 2010 or early 2011. He faced five charges originally, and the additional charges were filed in May 2018.
All of the counts together represented a maximum potential prison sentence of more than 80 years.
The investigation started after a victim who is now under age 16 spoke with a detective with the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office. She said Gosser began molesting her close to seven years earlier.
She said the abuse escalated into rape starting in spring 2016. The girl said she would attempt to move away but Gosser wouldn’t let her, and that he threatened to tell the police she had molested her younger brother if she ever told anyone what he did.
The victim also told the detective that, more recently, Gosser would chain her leg to a dresser in her bedroom in the evening so she couldn’t heave her room. She said he would do the same to her mother and younger brother.
Detectives interviewed Gosser at his residence and inspected the bedrooms. They found a dresser with a chain in it, brackets on all the windows to prevent them from being opened and a padlock on the door to the master bedroom.
Gosser told detectives that he would chain the legs of the woman and two children to objects in their room “for their own safety” every night for about a month in early summer 2017. He also admitted to securing all the windows so they couldn’t be opened.