By Herald Staff
JASPER — A Vincennes man was sentenced in Dubois Circuit Court today to seven years in the Indiana Department of Correction after being convicted of attempted rape.
The investigation of the case began on November 27, 2017, at approximately 2:30 a.m. when a woman contacted the Jasper Police Department advising that someone was attempting to enter her apartment. JPD officers arrived and encountered a man, later identified as Joshua Palmer, outside the apartment with his pants unzipped and wearing a black glove on one hand.
Upon questioning, Palmer gave differing accounts of his reason for being at the apartment. Upon further investigation, police uncovered significant evidence that Palmer intended to harm the woman that had called 911. Police discovered a knife in Palmer’s pocket, along with condoms, sex toys and a bondage device.
In Palmer’s vehicle nearby, police discovered a handgun, binoculars, a gorilla mask, pantyhose, tape, baby oil, several pairs of black gloves, a bag full of tools, two cameras, and a DVD entitled “SEVERE, an intermediate guide to BDSM.”
Digital forensic experts later examined the contents of Palmer’s cellphone. The phone contained numerous GIFs depicting females tied up, gagged, beaten and strangled. Internet searches found on the cellphone included “when and where are women most vulnerable to assault,” “unlocking doors and windows in a girl’s apartment,” and “she should have locked her door.”
The victim advised the police that she had been moving items out of her apartment because it was scheduled to be fumigated the next day for pests. She advised that as she came in from the last trip out with items, she locked the deadbolt. She stated that as she was about to exit the apartment for the last time, she saw the door knob turn and the door push slightly. She then heard a male voice outside the door. The deadbolt prevented his entry into the home, giving her time to call 911.
“Our community is safer today with this man off the street and behind bars for the next several years," Dubois County Prosecutor Anthony Quinn said of the sentence. "I commend the victim for following her instincts and calling the police, and I thank the officers that worked this case for the excellent efforts. I also appreciate my deputy prosecutor, Brian Lucchi, for his tireless work here on behalf of Dubois County."
Quinn added that while no one was injured in this case, the outcome could have been different.
"If it weren’t for the victim thinking to lock the deadbolt, we may be in a different situation today," the prosecutor said. "I urge all those in our community to be vigilant, trust your gut, and contact law enforcement if you see anything suspicious. As always, my office and I, and the police we work with, are here to serve and protect.”