INDIANAPOLIS — “I’d like to say I’m sorry.”
In court docket Friday afternoon, Thomas Stone apologized straight to Robyn Matthews, the girl he raped in 2016 for the duration of what prosecutors called a “reign of terror.”
Irrespective of the apology, a Marion County choose sentenced Stone to 26 several years for 3 counts of rape, a person depend of criminal confinement and a single rely of intimidation in relationship with the February 2016 rape of Matthews.
As portion of his sentence, Stone will have to sign-up as a sex offender the rest of his life and the court docket located him a sexually violent predator.
Matthews has been waiting around practically 7 years for justice to be served.
It is an update to a WRTV Investigation we brought you before this year— Justice Delayed.
The decide mentioned in 15 decades, the court can rethink the remainder of Stone’s sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction if he’s had no violations and has demonstrated good actions.
He had confronted a most of additional than 55 decades in prison.
Stone can enchantment each his conviction and sentence and the courtroom appointed a community defender to handle the charm.
He apologized to Matthews, but Stone claimed his lawyer advised him not to say a lot far more.
Matthews claimed she was surprised to hear Stone acknowledge to raping her.
“Frankly, the apology did not really feel authentic, as people who are actually sorry never proceed to file an appeal to claim that they are really innocent,” claimed Matthews.
Matthews explained she was pleasantly surprised by the 26-12 months sentence.
“I felt that he almost certainly deserved twice that quantity, but I am pleased with this end result and truly feel optimistic that more justice will be served as a final result of his following rape trial for a individual target,” reported Matthews.
A third woman, Mikayla Devore, states Thomas Stone raped her in 2016 but that demo has not nevertheless been scheduled.
The situation towards Thomas Stone has been pending in the Marion County judicial program for approximately seven decades.
“It really is particularly bothersome this circumstance is so aged,” Judge Grant Hawkins reported Friday.
Robyn Matthews study a target effects statement in court docket in which she expressed the impact the rape has had on her existence.
“It’s impacted just about every career I have had, my relationships, my mental overall health,” mentioned Matthews. “The fact that I have had to hold out this very long it’s been irritating. But I’m happy to ultimately near this chapter.”
Matthews is ready to transfer on with the felony justice approach.
“I will not at any time have to be concerned about trials all over again or speaking in court once again,” said Matthews. “There’s only an extent to how substantially I can go on from it.”
Stone was identified not guilty of raping yet another lady in 2016, but WRTV is not naming the alleged sufferer because she does not want to be recognized.
“It’s been really psychological and I’m nevertheless processing my emotions around it,” Matthews told WRTV just after the verdict was browse in August 2022. “I’m just content to near this chapter of my lifetime and transfer on. I feel quite great and at peace.”
Robyn Matthews had hoped he would get a harsh sentence for raping her.
“He’s likely to be absent for a even though and this will not be taking place to any one else,” mentioned Matthews in August.
Right after Matthews spent an night out in Wide Ripple with buddies, Stone forced Matthews to complete oral sexual intercourse in his car, then took Matthews his residence on Vistamere Way where he raped her.
Stone has refused to solution any issues from WRTV Investigates.
New initiatives are underway throughout the condition to deal with delayed justice for equally victims of crimes and defendants.
WRTV’s Investigation Justice Delayed exposed the several good reasons why justice can be delayed: COVID-19 delays and shutdowns, protection strategy, court and legal professional caseloads, as well as the number of witnesses and proof involved in a scenario.
We uncovered no point out or regional agency appears to be tracking how extensive felony situations consider.
Hancock County prosecutor Brent Eaton wishes to adjust that.
“Anything you evaluate you happen to be going to develop into much better at,” explained Eaton.
Eaton is hunting at creating a database for Hancock County making use of software program intended by the nonprofit corporation named Steps for Justice.
It could observe how promptly situations shift by means of the method, how cases end and what share of referrals from regulation enforcement are actually billed.
“That would be exciting to know,” claimed Eaton. “I believe a database would provide accountability and transparency so individuals would have an concept of what they’re essentially performing primarily based on precise info.”
Eaton explained monitoring the size of prison situations would be a useful instrument for strengthening public safety.
“As prosecutors, we want to attempt to provide the community,” reported Eaton. “We want to check out to be the voice for individuals that never have one particular. If this is going to support serve our communities better—I never know that you can set a price on that. Those people persons really do not at any time get that back. They’re counting on us to do that proper.”
Eaton also mentioned there is a expense to the judicial program when instances languish for several years.
“If the situation pends for a extended period of time of time, the human being that has a community defender will be on the public payroll for a for a longer period time period of time,” stated Eaton. “That’s just what it is. There may be supplemental gentleman-hrs for support personnel as you prepare for demo, for legislation enforcement.”
Eaton is working on having cost estimates to get started up and sustain these a facts-monitoring method.
The prosecutor emphasizes he can only search at data tracking for Hancock County.
“That’s as considerably as I’m ready to go,” claimed Eaton.
TIMELINE IN THOMAS STONE Felony Situations
- January 29, 2016- Alleged assault towards Mikayla Devore
- February 25, 2016- Assault against Robyn Matthews
- March 5, 2016- Alleged assault from a 3rd woman who we are not naming for the reason that she did not concur to speak with us.
- March 5, 2016- Stone is arrested, and launched on bond the upcoming day, jail data display.
- March 10, 2016- Marion County prosecutors file 11 rape, prison confinement and kidnapping fees in opposition to Thomas Stone
- April 25, 2016- Marion County prosecutors file extra costs from Stone for the 3rd woman, bringing the complete to 16 felony rates such as rape, tried rape, intimidation, criminal confinement and kidnapping.
- July 1, 2016- Alleged assault versus Sara Arnold.
- July 1, 2016- Police arrest Thomas Stone in link with Sara’s incident and he is booked into the Marion County jail. The courtroom orders he be held devoid of bond.
- July 5, 2016- Prosecutors cost Thomas Stone with rape in Sara’s situation, which is a distinct circumstance quantity than the three other ladies.
- February 10, 2017- While continue to incarcerated in the Marion County jail, Stone requests a speedy demo on Sara’s circumstance
- April 19, 2017- A jury finds Stone not guilty of rape in Sara’s situation
- May possibly 9, 2017- Stone is released from the Marion County jail but continues to be on home detention.
- December 14, 2017- The court grants a motion for continuance in the case involving Robyn Matthews, Mikayla Devore and a 3rd woman. Courtroom claims Stone should keep absent from institutions that provide alcoholic beverages.
- July 3, 2018- The court docket grants one more continuance.
- October 31, 2018- The court grants a different continuance.
- December 28, 2018- Stone is introduced from home detention, but continues to be on GPS checking and ought to continue to be away from establishments that serve liquor.
- March 22, 2019- The court grants yet another continuance.
- March 2, 2020- The courtroom grants a further continuance.
- June 1, 2021- The court docket grants another continuance.
- July 26, 2021- At the urging of Stone’s attorney, the choose agrees to individual the gals into unique instances, but it is not but obvious when or how their circumstances will be tried out.
- July 26, 2021- Choose suggests Stone is not authorized on courting internet sites or in any institution that serves alcoholic beverages.
- October 26, 2021- The court grants a different continuance
- February 17, 2022- The court grants another continuance.
- April 14, 2022- A pre-trial conference usually takes location, and a choose sets a demo for July 18-20, 2022.
- July 18-20, 2022- Trial scheduled for two alleged victims. An additional trial will be scheduled for the third alleged sufferer, Mikayla Devore.
- August 2022- Demo continued for two alleged victims.
- August 23, 2022- Choose uncovered Stone responsible of three counts of rape, 1 depend of felony confinement, and a single rely of intimidation. These charges stem from the rape of Robyn Matthews. Stone is observed not responsible of raping a next alleged target, who we are not naming. Stone was also fount not guilty of kidnapping and legal confinement in the second alleged victim’s case, which was merged with Robyn Matthews’ circumstance for applications of trial.
- November 18, 2022- Thomas Stone sentenced for raping Matthews also pre-trial convention for scenario involving 3rd girl Mikayla Devore