Grandmother of 8-year-old girl molested by Muncie man speaks out


Photo credit: Muncie Star Press

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MUNCIE, Ind. (May 4, 2015) - The man accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl is still behind bars after being arrested on multiple child molestation charges. The girl's grandmother says the girl lived with the suspect, James Samuel Suttles. The girl's mother is dating Suttles son.

The girl's grandmother says she believes the abuse started when the girl was 6 or 7 years old.

“She trusted the man and he’d been good to them. She had no reason to believe otherwise," the grandmother said.

She said the girl was threatened and told she couldn't watch TV if she didn't comply with Suttles' demands. Those demands included multiple sexual acts too disturbing to list.

The girl was scared to come forward until she moved out of the home and in with her grandmother.

“Often, it’s a traumatic event for the children. It’s difficult for them to understand what they’ve gone through and for them to be at a place to come forward about it," explained Kristofer Swanson, Muncie Police Department child crimes investigator.

The girls grandmother says she's relieved the man is behind bars, but they have a long way to go and aren't sure the girl will ever be healed.

"There’s some really, really ugly things and I know my granddaughter will never be rid of this. She’ll never be free of this. It scarred her for life," the girl's grandmother said.

According to family members, Suttles is a truck driver. They say they're concerned there's likely other victims out there and hope by telling their story, more will come froward.

The girl told her grandmother this, as a message for other young children who may be molested or abused at home.

"If it happens to you, tell on them.”

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