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Man pleads guilty in molestation case

by The Indiana Gazette on May 15, 2014 10:55 AM

A northern Indiana County man accused of molesting children at his sister’s home-based day care center in Grant Township has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in the case.

Todd Swaynie, 44, of the Marion Center area, pleaded guilty to indecent assault and attempted indecent assault during a criminal call hearing on May 2 in Indiana County Common Pleas Court. He has been ordered to go before the sexual offenders assessment board and may face police-registration and community-notification provisions under Megan’s Law if the district attorney proves him to be a sexual predator. A sentencing date has not been set.

Meanwhile, a series of child welfare endangerment charges filed against Swaynie’s sister, Crystal Pfeiffer, the operator of the now-closed Crystal L. Pfeiffer Family Day Care along Dixonville Road, remain unresolved, online court records show.

State police filed multiple felony and misdemeanor charges against Swaynie in June after hearing from parents of children enrolled in the day care center, and some children, that Swaynie had inappropriate contact with the youngsters.

In charging documents, police reported that an 18-year-old girl said Swaynie tried to pull off her pants back when she was about 7 or 8 years old. A 5-year-old girl told police Swaynie checked to see of she had “pee in her pants,” and the parents of a 7-year-old girl reported they believed Swaynie inappropriately touched their child.

The father of a 6-year-old boy told investigators that his son said Swaynie put his hands in the boy’s pockets, troopers wrote in a criminal complaint.

According to the court papers, a 13-year-old boy told troopers Swaynie bullied and was “rude” to him, and a 14-year-old boy, who said Pfeiffer allowed him to ride an all-terrain vehicle at the day care, also told police Swaynie was “annoying” and “nagging.”

Swaynie has been held in Indiana County Jail since his arrest on June 11, unable to post $25,000 bail.

Court records show the district attorney’s office has agreed not to prosecute five felony counts that had been filed against Swaynie, including two counts each of aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors and one count of indecent assault.

Pfeiffer, 46, is charged with nine counts of endangering the welfare of children, all third-degree felonies. State police accused her of allowing Swaynie, who lived next-door to her day care operation, to frequent the center and associate with the children.

Online court records show Indiana County Judge William Martin agreed to consolidate the charges for a single trial, and that Pfeiffer’s defense attorney, Robert Muir, filed applications to admit Pfeiffer to the accelerated rehabilitative disposition programs.

Pfeiffer was charged in July, and has remained free on unsecured bond to await court action.

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