Child molester agrees to 30 years

Wanda English Burnett

John Tunny, 48, of Batesville, pled guilty to Child Molesting, a Class A Felony and the court accepted the plea on November 17, according to information from the Ripley County Prosecutor’s Office.

The plea agreement means Tunny was sentenced to 30 years in prison with 10 years suspended to probation. During the probation period, Tunny will not be able to commit a criminal act or violate any traffic law. He will also be paying initial probation user’s fees and receive treatment as directed by probation.

After serving the 20 year prison term, Tunny will have to comply with the terms and conditions for sex offenders and have no contact with the victims or family unless approved by the court. He will also have to pay for any counseling the victims need.
“After speaking to the family, including the victims, this resolution seemed appropriate,” Prosecuting Attorney Ric Hertel noted. He went on the say, “given the relationship between the defendant and his victims, it would have been monumentally difficult for them to testify against him. They were relieved that they would not be subjected to a trial that would have included cross examination by Tunny’s attorney and giving the details of this horrible crime to a jury.”

Hertel noted that the agreement reduces the grounds for any appeal significantly. He said the hope is now that the victims can move forward without the threat of being victimized by an authority figure and someone that they trusted. “The child victims are young and are very resilient but how they are affected later in life by the defendant’s actions remains to be seen,” Hertel concluded.