A former University of Notre Dame student accused of sexually molesting a 12-year-old South Bend girl he met online is scheduled to be sentenced March 18.
Ackley F. John, 22, of Uniondale, N.Y., pleaded guilty in November to engaging in a sex act last spring with the girl, whom he met on the MySpace social networking site, according to court documents.
He was charged with two counts of child molesting, both class B felonies.
John is no longer a student at Notre Dame. His enrollment at the university ceased April 6, according to campus spokesman Dennis Brown.
Court documents state the following:
About 3:30 a.m. April 4, the girl’s parents called Mishawaka police to report her as a runaway. The girl had been spending the night at a relative’s home in Mishawaka but had disappeared, the parents told officers.
Mishawaka police officer Matthew Porter went to a convenience store near the relative’s house, where the clerk told him that a girl fitting the runaway’s description had come in 30 to 40 minutes earlier and asked to use the phone to call her father for a ride. The girl made a call, and the clerk shortly thereafter saw her climb into a gray car.
The Mishawaka officer called the last number that had been dialed on the phone and reached an answering machine stating: "This is A.J., and leave me a message." Porter left a message requesting a return call.
About 40 minutes later, a man returned the call, and Porter asked him whether he knew the girl. The caller said his name was Ackley John, and he was a Notre Dame student.
About 5 a.m., the Mishawaka officer received a call reporting Notre Dame Security Police had found the girl on campus.
When questioned, John told officers that he knew the girl by another first name, that they had communicated on MySpace for several months, and they had spent time together on three occasions. John told police the girl had performed oral sex on him on two occasions, including April 4 in a parking lot on Grape Road, according to court documents.
John told police he planned to drive the girl home that morning but saw her father’s car, so he kept driving. Back on campus, they started arguing, and John said he told her to go talk to a campus police officer.
John told police that the girl stated on MySpace that she was 15 years old, but she told him she was 14.
When questioned by police, the girl told police she had performed oral sex on John. She confirmed that he was driving her home when they saw her father’s car, so they went back to campus and he told her to seek help from a campus officer. The girl confirmed to police that she and John met on MySpace.
Efforts to reach John for comment through his counsel, South Bend attorney Michael J. Tuszynski, were unsuccessful.
Under Indiana law, anyone who has sex or deviate sexual conduct with a child under 14 is committing child molesting.
Ackley’s charges are both class B felonies. Class B felonies carry a prison sentence of six to 20 years, with an advisory sentence of 10 years.
Staff writer Margaret Fosmoe: