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Indiana man who impregnated girlfriend's 10-year-old daughter challenges 160-year sentence

35-year-old Nicholas Deon Thrash has filed an appeal with the Indiana State Supreme Court challenging his 2018 conviction, says the length of his sentence was not appropriate
(Source : Police Department)
(Source : Police Department)

A 35-year-old Indiana man who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl on multiple occasions and impregnating her and was sentenced to more than a century in prison has appealed his sentence.

Nicholas Deon Thrash's crimes came to light in 2017 after his victim disclosed to a Department of Child Services worker that she had been molested repeatedly by him, it was previously reported. But by the time the charges of felony child molestation were filed against him in May that year, she was already 20 weeks pregnant.

She would go on to give birth to the child a few months later when she was just 11 years old and took the stand during his jury trial at the Grant Superior Court in August 2018 to testify against him.

She revealed that Thrash had molested her on at least 15 separate occasions and that she had gotten pregnant by him during one of the assaults, with DNA analyst Stacy Bozinovski backing the claim and presenting the results of a paternity test that concluded there was a 99.9999% probability that Thrash was the father.

The 35-year-old did not deny that he was the father but still refused to admit he molested the victim. Instead, he blamed her mother, who was his girlfriend at the time, and claimed she had used his sperm to impregnate her daughter because she "was obsessed" with having a child with him. 

Thrash was facing a possible 40 years in prison for each of the 10 counts of felony child molestation, meaning he could have been sentenced to 400 years behind bars.

He was ultimately found guilty of all 10 counts and sentenced to 160 years behind bars.

Now, he's filed an appeal to the Indiana State Supreme Court challenging his conviction.

In a brief, Thrash said he believes the length of his sentence is not appropriate, alleges that the trial court improperly admitted evidence showing Sophie and the newborn baby at the hospital and that he was improperly removed from the courtroom after he hit back at accusations by the prosecution that he impregnated the victim. 

A statement provided to MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) by Criminal Appeals Section Chief Andrew Kobe dismissed the allegations. "The State of Indiana believes that the trial court acted appropriately in managing the trial, including dealing with Thrash, who was an unruly defendant," it reads. "Further, his sentence is appropriate given his repeated molestation of a young child, who gave birth at eleven, and his lack of remorse or other positive character traits."

The Indiana Attorney General's Office also provided MEAWW with the State's 25-page Brief of Appellee filed in the Indiana Court of Appeals in response to Thrash's brief which detailed why each of the 35-year-old's allegations held no water.

In the brief, which identifies the victim as S.D., the state argued that the trial court did not commit any fundamental error by ordering Thrash to be removed from the courtroom as he had "intentionally put his inadmissible allegations of S.D.'s sexual history and promiscuity before the jury in defiance of the trial's court's order granting the State's motion in limine."

The statement referred to Thrash's actions at the voir dire, an investigation into the admissibility of evidence held during a trial, when he also exhibited a sign to potential jurors that claimed the victim "had sex with 3 different grown men [sic]" and that "she's not as innocent as they make her out be [sic]."

This was in violation of a motion filed by the state before the trial that was granted which effectively prevented him from admitting evidence that S.D. had allegedly been touched in the past by other men. 

He had been admonished by the judge following this stunt and told in no uncertain terms that a second offense would see him removed from the court. He reportedly told the court he understood the warning, 

However, when he later took the stand to testify, he once again violated the motion, despite being reminded by his defense counsel that he could not speak about other sexual incidents involving S.D. He was removed from the courtroom at this point, with his lawyer not objecting. 

Addressing his assertion that the court had improperly admitted evidence of pictures of S.D and her child — the defense claimed the State had not provided the copies to them during discovery — the brief argued that the pictures had "no impact on Thrash's defense."

"While he claims he needed more time to investigate these pictures, he offers no concrete investigative steps that were necessary to preserve his defense or to mount a full objection," the rebuke reads. "He was not harmed by the admission of the photographs. His convictions should be affirmed."

In response to the 35-year-old's claim that his sentence was not appropriate, the State wrote, "The nature of his offenses show him repeatedly molesting a 10-year-old girl and impregnating her. The consequence of his crimes is a child having to raise an essentially fatherless child."

"His character also does not justify revision," it continues. "He has a history of crimes in which he victimized other people. He regularly victimized S.D., showing his continuing disregard of others. This Court should affirm his sentence as not inappropriate."

Indeed, according to the brief, Thrash has fathered 9 children and was not current on any of his child support payments. He also has an extensive criminal history that includes convictions for theft, forging a false-identity, criminal damage to property, and battery.

S.D., now 13-years-old, was admitted into a mental health facility shortly after Thrash's sentencing. Her grandmother said she's no longer suicidal these days and is "in good spirits," hoping to eventually find a job so she can take care of herself and her child.

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