GREENFIELD — Prosecutors have added a count of rape to the slew of sexual assault-related felony charges against a local man after he withdrew from a plea agreement, records show.
Jordan Collins, 20, of Wilkinson, was arrested earlier this year after a girl told police the man cornered her during a party at her home and forced himself on her, court documents state.
During an interview with police, Collins said he had no memory of harming the girl but told investigators something could have happened between them, according to court documents.
Collins was charged in January with two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, one as a Level 5 felony and one as a Level 6 felony, and one Level 6 felony count of criminal confinement.
Over the summer, Collins took a plea deal that called for him to admit to sexual misconduct, Prosecutor Brent Eaton said. A change-of-plea hearing was July 12, court records show.
But as officials prepared for the sentencing hearing that would conclude the case, Collins opted to back out of the deal and formally withdrew his guilty plea, records show.
As a result, the state submitted paperwork to the judge asking that Collins be charged with one Level 3 felony count of rape in addition to the allegations that were already brought against him, Eaton said.
Hancock Circuit Court Judge Scott Sirk has accepted the request and added the fourth felony count — which carries a penalty of up to 16 years in prison, records show. Collins has been ordered to appear in court on Nov. 8 for an initial hearing on the new charge.
Eaton said his team considered filing the rape charge against Collins earlier in the proceedings, but decided against it as plea negotiations continued and it appeared Collins would admit to the lesser offense. Such an arrangement would have kept the victim from having to testify before a jury, Eaton said.
But when the defendant backed out the plea deal, prosecutors decided to up the ante.
“This was a possibility the defendant knew of when he was deciding whether to plea,” Eaton said. “It was known by all the parties that this charging was a possibility.”
The girl accusing Collins of harming her told police the incident occurred at a holiday party in her parents’ Fortville home, according to court documents.
The girl, who is underage, said Collins approached her during the party and asked to speak with her privately. She followed him into the garage of the home. He began kissing her once they were alone together, she said, according to court documents.
Collins then forced her to engage in a sex act, the girl told police, according to court documents. She tried to stop him, but he was stronger than her, she said.
Collins admitted to police that he had kissed the girl, court documents state; but he couldn’t remember if anything further happened between them.
The Level 3 felony count Collins faces carries a penalty of three to 16 years in prison; the Level 5 felony count carries a penalty of one to six years in prison; and each of the Level 6 felony counts carries a penalty of six months to 2½ years in jail.