VALPARAISO — When Johnathan Martin was first questioned by police about allegations of molesting two young girls, he said the girls were mad at him for not allowing them to go trick-or-treating.
The 30-year-old South Haven man then slowly began to reveal more and on Tuesday, pleaded guilty in court to molesting the girls beginning when they were as young as 5 and 6.
Martin faces 20 to 40 years behind bars on each of the two felony counts when sentenced Sept. 11 before Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper.
The allegations came to light when one of the girls told a friend at school, who told a teacher, according to police. The girl reportedly said she was afraid to tell her mother.
The girls described numerous sexual acts that Martin carried out with them, police said.
"(One of the girls) said that Johnathan made them put their hands in the middle if they weren't going to tell," according to charging information. "Johnathan told the girls if you don't put your hand in, you can go ahead and tell your mommy but I will lie."
One of the young girls told police she thinks Martin "should have to go to work or go to jail," police said.
When Martin was first called in to be questioned about the allegations, police said he denied any wrongdoing and attempted to explain away the accusations as accidental or unintended.
When asked if he could look at the girls and say they were lying, Martin reportedly told police he could not.
Martin then said he was drunk on one occasion, could not remember too much of what happened and "it just happened real quick," police said.
He began to admit to more, police said, and said "he was drinking for the most part."
Police said Martin admitted to taking a nude photograph of one of the girls on his cell phone that he later deleted.