Anderson man sentenced to 11 years in prison

Mar. 15—ANDERSON — An Anderson man has been given an 11-year prison sentence on a felony charge of child molesting.

Ashton Vollenhals, 37, 1600 block of West 10th Street, had previously entered a guilty plea to a lower level felony.

Deputy Prosecutor Matt Savage requested the maximum sentence of 12 years.

Madison Circuit Court Division 6 Mark Dudley sentenced Vollenhals to 11 years in prison in addition to one year served while he was incarcerated at the Madison County Jail.

Dudley said Vollenhals violated a position of trust and had previously been sentenced to prison twice.

Dudley said he didn't find remorse as a mitigating factor, but took into consideration the plea agreement.

"There would be trauma all over again if the case went to trial," he said.

Savage said the victim, who was four years old at the time, was living in Tennessee with a family member.

"They have not been cooperative with the prosecutor. They don't want her to testify," he said. "I could compel that the girl be brought back to Madison County, but this is the best resolution of the case."

Savage said Vollenhals violated the terms of court-ordered supervision when the offense took place.

Vollenhals provided letters to Judge Dudley written by his two children and their mother.

"I feel terrible for his kids," Savage said. "I hope they don't know what he did. He has girls the same age in his house."

Vollenhals said he felt terrible when asked about the letters.

"The reason I had them write letters was to show I'm not an evil person," Vollenhals said. "I don't need to go to prison for 12 years.

"People make mistakes," he testified. "It's in my best interest not to serve the entire sentence with the Department of Correction. In work release I can get a job."

According to a probable cause affidavit, Vollenhals allegedly had sexual relations with a girl under the age of 5 in January 2021 in Alexandria.

During a Kids Talk interview, the girl said the sexual interaction happened more than once.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.