A Silver Lake man was found guilty by a jury Tuesday for molesting two children over a 15-month span.
Daniel S. Louvier, 37, of 208 S. High St., Silver Lake, appeared Tuesday in Kosciusko Superior Court I for a jury trial. It took a jury of nine men and three women an hour to convict Louvier of two Level 4 felonies for child molesting. Louvier will appear before Superior Court I Judge David Cates at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 9 for sentencing. He faces up to 24 years behind bars.
The case stems from when Louvier was arrested Jan. 31 after a then-10-year-old child told her mother that Louvier had inappropriately touched her several times while she visited his home between 2018 and 2019. The child’s mother immediately took the child to the sheriff’s department, and a report was filed. A forensic interview was conducted and, during that interview, according to testimony in court Tuesday, the child revealed that she knew about another child Louvier had touched in his Silver Lake home.
The second girl, who was younger than 14 at the time, came forward with her story accusing Louvier of inappropriate touching during a forensic interview. Both girls testified that Louvier would put his hand down their pants and underneath their underwear and place his hand on their genitalia while no one else was home.
Louvier’s appointed public defender, Travis Neff, told the jury that, “Nobody wants to hear about allegations of a kid getting hurt. … That’s true for Daniel as well. He’s been facing these accusations for 10 months. He’s heartbroken over the loss of the relationship with (the victims). He’s never said ‘I did that.’ He’s always denied it.”
The first witness the jury heard from was the now-11-year-old girl’s mother, who said she used to be married to Louvier, and when her daughter told her about the accusations, she was “disgusted, shocked but wasn’t surprised. I couldn’t believe he could do that to (the victim).”
Jurors next heard from Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Det. Neil Likens, who was the lead detective on the case and who took the initial report, along with the forensic interviewer.
The state’s next witness was the 11-year-old victim, who was accompanied on the stand by a therapy dog. The child was crying throughout her testimony and said she met Louvier when she was 8 and began visiting his home every other weekend and during some school breaks. She said Louvier lived in a Silver Lake home that belonged to Louvier’s fiancee, along with the fiancee’s other children.
“The other kids wouldn’t be home and we’d be on the couch watching TV and he would reach his arm around me and then pull me over to him and sit like that for a couple minutes and then he would put his hands down my panties,” the child said through tears. She testified Louvier would “just leave it there” for as long as the TV show that was on would run.
“I just know that it happened a lot,” she said. “I was scared to tell anybody because I didn’t know if anybody would believe me.”
The next victim, age 12, then took the stand clutching a teddy bear and accompanied by the therapy dog. She lived in the Silver Lake home.
“He would touch me inappropriately, and I did not know what to do, I did not know what to say,” she said, of Louvier touching her while on the couch and watching TV. “I would just sit there and think to myself I don’t know what to do.”
The child testified that Louvier would press very hard on her private part to the point that it hurt her, and that one time he picked her up while he was completely naked and her foot grazed his private part and Louvier told her, “I know this is awkward. I’m sorry.”
She also told of another time when Louvier put lotion all over her naked body. The child said she did not tell anybody, because she didn’t know if anyone would believe her, but once the other child told police, she came forward.
The defense’s main case was that the girls were somehow in cahoots and fabricated the entire story to take Louvier down. Kosciusko County Chief Prosecuting Attorney Brad Voelz asked the jury if they really believe that, after hearing the testimony from the victims, if two children would honestly create a criminal conspiracy like that.
The jury didn’t believe it and chose to work into the evening to reach a verdict.
During the trial, Louvier, who was still in the custody of the Kosciusko County Sheriff and shackled at the feet after he could not post his $151,00 bond, was oftentimes laughing and joking with his family.
After the verdict was read, the victims’ families cried and supporters hugged.