Jul. 21—GOSHEN — A man has been charged with having a role in the sexual assault of a teenager during a mass escape from Bashor Children's Home last year.
Matthew Girardot, 19, faces an arrest warrant after the case against him was filed Tuesday. He's charged with a Level 5 felony count of criminal confinement involving a victim under 14 years old.
Girardot was allegedly one of several teens who ran away from the Bashor campus, 62226 C.R. 15, near Goshen around Aug. 29, 2020. According to accusations made, while the group stopped in a nearby cornfield, Girardot and others held the 13-year-old victim down, and the child was molested by another teenager, according to details from the probable cause affidavit in the case.
When police interviewed Girardot, he admitted he was with the group of runaways and witnessed the incident, and then denied he held the victim down, the affidavit shows.
The case was filed in Elkhart County Superior Court 3, along with a warrant for Girardot's arrest.
The filing came about five months after a civil lawsuit was filed against Bashor, apparently stemming from the same incident as Girardot's case.
The victim's parents, identified in the suit with the aliases John and Jane Doe, have accused Bashor of negligence as they seek damages as a result of trauma and expenses that came out of the situation. The case, filed in February, describes how the victim and another teen were sexually assaulted, as well as efforts to search for the victim over about two days before the child was found in a park. The suit also indicated criminal charges had been filed against juveniles involved in the incident.
Attorneys for Bashor responded to the civil suit on May 27, denying most of the allegations surrounding the escape and assault. The response does make some admissions, including that the victim and other teens left the campus without permission, and that the victim, after returning to the facility, told Bashor staff about the molestation.
The civil suit is still underway in Elkhart County Superior Court 2.
Aimee Ambrose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-533-2151, ext. 240316. Follow her on Twitter at @aambrose_TGN.