INDIANAPOLIS — A Michigan City grandfather will spend the rest of his life in prison after the Court of Appeals of Indiana upheld his 55-year sentence for molesting multiple children.
David Edward Allen is incarcerated at the Indiana State Prison with an earliest possible release date of Feb. 26, 2064.
“Allen acknowledges that his offenses are ‘depraved’ and ‘vile’ and that he should be punished,” the appellate court writes in its order, issued Friday. “... However, Allen claims that the sentence is ‘excessive’ and will basically have the effect of a life sentence.”
But the judges affirmed all 55 years, noting that even the minimum sentence would have required the now-73-year-old to serve almost 17 behind bars, still likely a life sentence.
Allen was charged in La Porte Superior Court 1 in 2018 with 12 felony counts of child molesting that carried a collective maximum prison sentence of 562 years. He pleaded guilty to two of those counts later that year.
In April 2019, Judge Michael Bergerson sentenced Allen to 45 years on the Class A felony count of child molesting – intercourse or deviate sex with a victim less than 14; and 10 years on the Level 4 felony count of child molesting – fondling or touching a child under 14.
The judge ordered the sentences to be served consecutively.
Each count to which Allen pleaded guilty applied to a different victim, although he was originally charged with molesting four girls and one boy – ages 5-14 – between September 2000 and November 2016.
But in his appeal, Allen claimed 55 years in lockup was inappropriate given the nature of the offenses and his character.
The Court of Appeals disagreed on both counts.
“Our review of Allen’s offenses indicates that he took advantage of his relationship with young, vulnerable children in order to fulfill his own despicable desires,” the court writes.
“Allen violated his position of trust with Victim A and Victim B. Even though Victim A ‘cried out,’ Allen continued to molest her for almost a year. Likewise, he molested Victim B for almost eight years. … We find that the nature of the offenses does not warrant a reduction in his sentence.
“Allen fares no better when we consider his character. Allen proclaims to be a ‘changed’ man, and that he has ‘extreme remorse and shame.’ ... He also claims that he will be ‘extraordinarily vulnerable’ in prison. ... His self-serving argument is not well taken.”
The judges note that Allen never apologized to his victims and even denied their allegations during his sentencing hearing.
They also take exception to his claim that he lacks significant criminal history, despite three convictions for operating while intoxicated.
“Throughout Allen’s brief, he claims his excessive drinking caused him to not remember the molestations or specific acts,” the court writes. “This does not reflect favorably on his character. He also asserts that his ‘biography is not the worst of the worst justifying no chance at freedom.’ ... We disagree.
“Allen molested multiple victims … over many years. We agree with the trial court’s observation that Allen does not seem to understand or appreciate the ‘incalculable misery that he has caused his victims’.”