Crime and punishment

Defense attorney George Appleby (left), Dean Hilpipre (center) and Hardin County Attorney Rick Dunn (right) wait for a final decision during a sentencing hearing at the courthouse in Eldora last Friday. Hilpipre received a suspended prison term and probation after pleading guilty to Lascivious Acts with a Child, a Class C Felony. (Robert Maharry/Eldora Newspapers photo) 

A thirst for justice—and subsequently, anger at a perceived lack thereof—led nearly 50 concerned citizens from around the state to the Hardin County Courthouse for the sentencing of Dean Hilpipre on Friday afternoon, where they directed much of their scorn away from the defendant himself and pointed it at the very people charged with upholding the foundational ideal in the first place.


“A word that I’ve heard over and over and over today is justice,” Judge James McGlynn said. “None of us has the eye of God to know what justice really is, and none of us has the wisdom of Solomon.”


This much is clear: Hilpipre, a 61-year-old from Alden, admitted in open court that he had committed lascivious acts with his granddaughter, who is currently under the age of 10, on multiple occasions between 2012 and 2016, and after a psychosexual evaluation determined an extremely low risk of recidivism, he struck a plea agreement in December that included a suspended prison sentence of up to 10 years, five years of probation and a requirement to register as a sex offender.


Read the full story in Friday's Index.