Former firefighter charged with child molestation

A former Foraker firefighter charged with 10 counts of child sex abuse appeared in court Thursday.

William Hess, 57, is scheduled to go to trial June 2.

In 2011 Hess was charged with four counts of child solicitation. Prior to that he was charged with two counts of child molesting, one count of sexual misconduct with a minor and two counts of disseminating harmful material to a minor.

Hess is also accused of "vicarious sexual gratification" with a minor and sexual misconduct, a Class C felony.

According to court documents obtained by NewsCenter 16, several of Hess's alleged victims came forward years after the abuse.

One of the victims alleged that at the age of 13, he was the victim of sex crimes and child exploitation at a house in Goshen. The boy claimed he was forced to perform sexual acts with Hess and watch pornographic videos.

The victim's family learned of these events after being contacted by a camp school he attended.

Workers at the camp wrote statements to investigators claiming on separate occasions Hess invited the victim to "go walk in the cornfield nude with him."

A third victim, a 23 year-old woman, stepped forward in 2011.

She told the Elkhart County Sheriff's Dept. she was abused by Hess when she was between 11 and 17 years old.

The girl told police Hess's house was a "fun place for all the neighborhood children to hang out" because he had movies to watch, guns and bows to shoot, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The female victim alleged that Hess made her touch his privates approximately 100 times in the several year span of the abuse.

Hess faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

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