A Mitchell man who originally faced up to 40 years in prison pleaded guilty to rape this week and was sentenced to house arrest having served just 31 days in jail.
On September 19, 2010, the man was at the home of a co-worker, where his horses are boarded, watering them. While there, he attempted to get the woman to have sex with him but she refused and left in order to get away from him.
She told police that the man, apparently angered by her refusal, followed her, knocked her down, and pulled her back into the home. Inside, he forced himself on her, she said.
In her attempts to get away, she bit the man on the back and hit him repeatedly with a paint can. He became even more angry and she became scared.
At that point, the woman “then made a decision she would agree to have sex with Porter so she would not get hurt,” according to documents filed with the court. “She felt her only option was to do what Porter wanted or she would be killed.”
After the man left, she went to a friend’s home and then to the Mitchell Police Department. Later, the woman went to Bedford Regional Medical Center where she was examined.
During questioning by Indiana State Police Detective Paul Suding, the man said that he carried the woman into the home after she had a panic attack. Afterwards, the man said, the woman wanted to have sex with him. He later told the Detective that “he did get upset and make [the woman] have sex with him”.
The day after the incident, Jeffrey Dean Porter, Mitchell, was arrested by Indiana State Police on a preliminary charge of rape. On September 22, 2010, Porter was formally charged with one count of rape and one count of criminal deviate conduct, both class B Felonies which each carry a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
After his arrest, Porter was held in the Lawrence County Security Center without bond.
On October 20, 2010, however, that changed when bond was set at $5,000 cash. Porter posted bond and walked out of jail the same day.
A trial was set for August 28, 2012, but that trial never took place due to a plea agreement negotiated between Michelle Woodward and Porter’s court-appointed attorney, Lorinda Youngcourt.
As part of the plea agreement, Porter would plead guilty to rape and, in exchange, Woodward would request that the other charge against him, criminal deviate conduct, be dismissed.
At the sentencing hearing this past Monday, that’s exactly what happened. Porter pleaded guilty, admitting to raping the woman. The Court then granted the State’s motion to dismiss the criminal deviate conduct charge.
Porter was sentenced to eight years at the Indiana Department of Corrections (and given credit for 31 days served) with five years of that sentence suspended to probation. Porter “shall serve 3 years on electronic monitoring in lieu of incarceration” and, after completing as little as two years of probation, it “may become unsupervised”, meaning that he would not even be required to regularly meet with a probation officer.
Porter was ordered not to use alcohol or drugs, to have no contact with the victim, and he must pay $100 to the public defender as well as $166 in court costs.
In addition, Porter “shall pay any restitution of medical care/therapy of victim”.
Although he faced up to 20 years in prison, Porter served just 31 days in the Lawrence County Jail for raping his female co-worker.
The day after his sentencing, Jeffrey Dean Porter was added to the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry, where he will remain listed until his death, as a “sexually violent predator”.
According to the Registry, Porter, 41, stands 6’1″ tall, weighs 170 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. He resides at 319 West Vine Street in Mitchell.
Note: Mitchell News does not publish the names of victims of sexual crimes.