Court docs: Lafayette man attacked and sexually assaulted 9-year-old girl, kept her locked in basement


LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A man faces multiple charges, including attempted murder, in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 9-year-old girl in Lafayette.

According to court documents, police knocked on James Brian Chadwell’s door on April 19 and found the girl locked in the basement. He’d lured her into the home by inviting her to pet his dogs, the girl told investigators.

The girl said once she came inside Chadwell’s home, he attacked and strangled her, causing her to pass out. When she awoke, she discovered most of her clothing was missing.

The girl’s parents had reported her missing around 7 p.m. on April 19. Police talked to Chadwell earlier in the evening; he said she’d visited his home but had since left. During their search for the girl, police returned to Chadwell’s house and asked permission to look inside.

Officers found the basement door secured with a chain lock. When they went downstairs, they found the little girl crying; she told them Chadwell had tried to kill her. During an interview at the hospital, the girl said Chadwell sexually assaulted her.

Her injuries included bruises to her head, arms and legs, as well as signs of strangulation on her neck. She also had what appeared to be dog bites on her legs, according to investigators.

Chadwell is charged with attempted murder, child molesting, attempted child molesting, kidnapping, criminal confinement, battery resulting in serious bodily injury and strangulation.

Prosecutors want Chadwell classified as a habitual offender, which would add a sentence enhancement if he’s found guilty.

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