LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - He's a man law officers consider a notorious sexual predator whose victims have ranged in age from seven to sixteen years old.
The charges against Joseph Molitor involve illegal sexual activity and indecent behavior with six young girls that goes back at least as early as 1992 and as recently as 2003.
Molitor was facing trial on 12 different counts including aggravated rape, and indecent behavior with juveniles. Instead of going to trial Molitor opted to plead guilty to fewer charges. Prosecutor Sharon Wilson says one reason the state agreed is so the victims won't have to endure a trial and testimony.
"The case has been pending for six years. It has been a very long, difficult process for these victims. This is a good day for them to at least have the conclusion of a finding of criminal responsibility on the part of this defendant," said Wilson.
The victims were as young as seven and Wilson says their encounters with him were devastating.
"It has had an impact that is actually immeasurable and for years to come we may never know the true extent of the damage that this defendant has caused in the lives of these children."
In accepting his guilty plea Judge Wilford Carter warned Molitor his admissions will influence the sentence he receives. In all Molitor pleaded guilty to five charges and he could get up to 61 years in prison.
"If and when he is ever released, he has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his natural life. Once he is released from any type of Department of Corrections facility or any type of supervision, he will undergo a mandatory supervised release period of three years because the offenses involved children under thirteen," said Wilson.
At sentencing in September, Molitor, his victims and family will be allowed to have their say before the court.
Molitor's sentencing is at 9 a.m. Wednesday September 9th before Judge Carter. A pre-sentence investigation and report has been ordered.
In court Molitor repeatedly turned around and stared in the direction of his alleged victims. At one point a sheriff's deputy ordered him to stop and to face forward toward the judge.