Nashville man sentenced for sexual misconduct

Lewis acused of assaulting a teen girl.
Lewis acused of assaulting a teen girl.

A Nashville man who pleaded guilty to having sex with a 15-year-old has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Brian R. Lewis, 23, appeared in court Feb. 20 for sentencing for the sexual misconduct charge, stemming from an incident July 22 at his home in Nashville.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Lewis had gone to bed with his wife while the girl slept on a couch in the living room.

Later, Lewis went to the couch where the teen was sitting. He began fondling her and then removed her clothing, according to the affidavit. The affidavit states that the girl told him to stop, but he didn’t.

Facebook messages obtained by police show that Lewis was concerned the girl was pregnant. He joked about committing suicide, according to the affidavit.

Lewis admitted to police that he knew her age. Under state law, it is illegal for someone 21 or older to have sex with a 15-year-old.

Lewis’ Facebook messages show that he feared he would go to jail.

In the courtroom, Lewis admitted to the sexual encounter.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney James T. Roberts said Lewis had placed blame on the victim to minimize his involvement. Lewis testified that the girl had been “flirting” with him and had taken off her own clothes.

But Lewis’ attorney, Andrew A. Szakaly, said his client expresses remorse for what he did and the fact that Lewis suffers from mild retardation should be considered when determining the sentence.

“I believe you have accepted responsibility by offering to plead guilty,” Judge Judith Stewart told Lewis.

He was charged with Level 4 felony sexual misconduct with a minor. The highest penalty for that charge is 12 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.

Lewis was sentenced to five years in jail with two years executed. The remaining three years will be spent on probation.

He can have no contact with the victim and must register as a sex offender, provide a DNA sample and complete the sex offender treatment program.

Lewis has been in jail for 205 days and has 68 days of good time credit. He will earn one day of credit for every three days he serves.

After he is released, Stewart said he would be able to transfer his probation to California so he can move there with his family. His father testified that Lewis will have a job there detailing cars.

Lewis apologized in court after the sentencing.

“Hopefully in the future I’ll do better. I will do better,” he said.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.