SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) - An 18-year-old from Scottsburg, Indiana is behind bars, accused of having a sexual relationship with a young girl.
Brandon McCoskey was arrested Thursday and charged with child molestation, among other things.
Walking into court for an initial hearing Friday, McCoskey seemed stunned. He denied ever having touched the 11-year-old girl in a sexual way.
“No, nothing else happened, we were just friends,” McCoskey said. “I’ve tried telling my attorney and everything that but they just don’t believe me. Even though I failed my polygraph test but the whole time, I couldn’t hardly sit still.”
He added, “I regret even meeting her.”
McCoskey is charged with two counts of felony child molestation and one misdemeanor charge of contributing to a delinquency of a minor for allegedly encouraging the girl to run away.
The probable cause affidavit said both the girl and McCoskey initially denied the sexual relationship, but the girl later recanted and told investigators that she and McCoskey “kissed, hugged, slept in the same bedroom together.”
Detective Jacklyn Shofner with the Scott County Sheriff’s Department said the evidence shows a bigger picture of that relationship.
“He has made some admissions to there being a dating relationship and contact, but it was through the investigation that we discovered that that contact was inappropriate and sexual,” Shofner said.
McCoskey and the girl exchanged messages on Facebook Messenger and on Snapchat. The probable cause affidavit said when the girl brought up her age, McCoskey told her “age was only a number,” and he discussed moving her into his residence, adopting her and being married.
Court records said the girl admitted he kissed her, touched her butt and down the front of her pants.
“And there was inappropriate messaging and images that were discovered on the tablet,” Shofner said. “Interviews were conducted and it was confirmed that there was sexual contact between the two and that McCoskey was well aware of the minor’s age, which was 11-years-old.”
McCoskey continues to deny everything.
“Since I’ve gotten locked up from this, I’ve talked to her and she said she never said anything like that so I’m just assuming that it’s just the legal system over here,” McCoskey said about the allegations.
Investigators said it appears McCoskey was grooming the girl for this kind of relationship.
“This child did not feel that this was necessarily inappropriate, but given that this relationship was with an adult male, he was well aware of her age and the inappropriateness of this relationship,” Shofner said.
On Friday, a judge ordered McCoskey to have no contact with the girl. The judge also ordered a public defender be appointed to represent him in this and another pending case in Scott County.
A trial date for McCoskey was set for February 19. He’s being held in the Scott County Jail on a $60,000 bond.
If convicted, he could face up to 24 years in prison.