A Greenwood man will serve 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to high-level child molestation and rape charges.
Marthan Christian Lewis, 27, was sentenced to 30 years in prison by Johnson County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Roesener on Monday on charges of child molestation, a Level 1 felony, and rape, a Level 3 felony.
He received a 25-year sentence for the child molestation charge, all to be executed at an Indiana Department of Correction facility. For the rape charge, which will be served consecutively, he received a nine-year sentence, five years of which will be served in prison. The remainder was suspended to probation with home detention.
Lewis had previously pleaded guilty to the charges on June 13, however, he tried to withdraw the guilty plea late last year. This was later denied by Roesener.
Charges were filed against Lewis in May 2021 after a young girl allegedly told a family member that he had just raped her at a Greenwood apartment in June 2020. The girl allegedly said he stopped when someone else entered the apartment, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Then, in January 2021, another person reported Lewis had raped her at a Greenwood apartment during the same month. That person said the rape caused her pain, the affidavit shows.
She told police Lewis allegedly threatened to hurt her if she told anyone about what happened, and she thought that meant he would kill her, according to the affidavit.
Greenwood detectives interviewed Lewis in June 2020, and he denied touching the first victim inappropriately or raping her, and refused a DNA swab. In January 2021, after the second victim reported she was raped, police served a search warrant on Lewis at the Howard County Probation Office, and collected a DNA sample, the affidavit shows.
DNA evidence supported the first victim’s claims that Lewis had raped her, according to the affidavit.
During Monday’s sentencing hearing, Lewis expressed remorse, apologizing to the court, the people of Johnson County, his mother and his family. The two victims were relatives, court documents show.
Lewis told Roesener he was not a bad person but made “poor choices.” He later asked Roesener to forgive him.
“I’m a man of God, but I know I’m not perfect. … I pray and hope for your leniency,” Lewis said.
Lewis testified his family wants to see him prosper, and said he wanted to go out and make a difference for the community. He wants to find treatment for sexual offenders and make the community safer, he said.
It was revealed by his mother in court that Lewis himself was a victim of sexual abuse. She said she had forgiven her son and asked for Roesener to see him as a person.
“He’s had a hard life. A very hard life,” she testified.
Dorie Maryan, Lewis’ attorney, asked for the rape charge to be suspended to probation in its entirety. She cited his history as an abuse victim, his mental health and a criminal history that wasn’t what she expected for these types of criminal charges.
Lewis was out on release at the time of the incident. He was previously convicted of receiving stolen property, theft, battery and illegally carrying a handgun. He also has charges pending in Johnson County for battery in an unrelated case, according to online court records.
Lewis also admitted what he did was wrong in a pre-sentencing investigation report, another mitigating factor, Maryan said.
Prosecutors disagreed. While they understood Lewis’ sentiments, what he did was egregious, said Ranissa Dycus, deputy prosecutor.
Dycus said the probable cause affidavit for this case was one of the worse she has ever read.
Before issuing Lewis’ sentence, Roesener acknowledged Lewis had a difficult life and was a victim of abuse. But the seriousness of the crime, combined with a criminal history that gave Rosener a “picture of a career criminal,” outweighed this, he said.
Lewis was also in a position of trust.
“It was a wicked act,” Roesener said. “Two little girls are now saddled with the same hardships as you.”