Warning: The story below contains graphic content about alleged sexual abuse. Reader discretion is advised.
Peru, IN - An investigation by Indiana State Police Detective Wendell Beachy of the Peru Post has led to charges of Child Solicitation and Sexual Battery against a Peru man. Thomas Eric Shearer, 60, of 11 W. Boulevard, Peru, was arrested by Indiana State Police on Friday, October 13, 2017, at his residence.
The investigation began on October 11, 2017, when Detective Beachy met with the alleged child victim and his mother. Both the child and his mother arrived in the United States on August 15, 2017, from Costa Rica. Neither the child or his mother speak English.
Detective Beachy observed a forensic child interview conducted by the Department of Child Services. This interview was conducted with the assistance of an interpreter who was contracted by the Department of Child Services.
During the interview, the child stated that he has been living in a house with his mother. Since their arrival, the child reported that Mr. Shearer has hit his mother in the face two times and has hit him in the face causing his nose to bleed. He also stated that Mr. Shearer does not let them eat any of the food that is kept in the house.
The child claimed that Shearer touches him on the “butt” and kisses him on the lips at night time when his mom is sleeping. The child also stated that Thomas has also asked him to touch his “pee pee” but that he told him no each time. When asked to clarify “pee pee” the child pointed to the penis of a boy depicted on a drawing used in the interview. While the child could not remember when these incidents took place, he reported that it happened five times. The child stated that Shearer has never penetrated his “butt” but does rub it with his hands over the top of his clothes. The child also claimed that while Shearer rubs his butt he would say “touch me, touch me”, referring to his penis. The child claimed that Thomas has told him that if he ever tells his mom or anyone else that he will kill his mom and hit him.
Also on October 11th, Detective Beachy interviewed the child’s mother. The interview was also conducted with the assistance of an interpreter. During the interview, the child’s mother stated that she met Thomas in Costa Rica when she was 18-years-old and working as a prostitute. She reported that Thomas would pay to have sex with her and that during one of these encounters, he told her that he wanted to help her with her children. She reported having two children at the time. She continued that in 2007, she was raped by two men and became pregnant with her third child. When Shearer learned of the pregnancy, she stated that he told her to get an abortion and that she had refused. A month later he called and told her that if she was going to have the child he would love him as his own.
The mother reported that over the last 11 years, Shearer would come and visit her in Costa Rica every couple of months and stay for a week. During one of these visits, he reportedly told her that if she would marry him, she would be able to come to the United States and have a better future for her and her son. She agreed and the pair was married in Costa Rica on June 13, 2015. After the marriage, Shearer did not return to visit her until they were getting ready to move to the United States two years later. He told the mother that he had obtained US citizenship and a passport for the child and a 6-month Visa for her. The mother claimed that after arriving in the U.S., she asked Shearer about getting her U.S. citizenship and he told her that she was going to return to Costa Rica and the child would stay here with him.
The mother and child arrived in the United State on August 15, 2017. At first, they stayed in Florida with several friends of Mr. Shearer. The pair then traveled with one of Shearer’s friends to Chicago where they stayed with two other men who Shearer reported that he worked with. After a couple of days, Shearer brought them to his residence in Peru. The mother reported that while in Chicago, Shearer would leave them during the day but she does not know what did for employment. She stated that Thomas would get angry when she asked where he worked and refused to tell her.
After coming to Peru, Shearer would spend weekends in Peru and leave early Monday mornings to return to Chicago for work. When he was present in the home, Thomas wanted the child to sleep in a room by himself and the mother responded: “no he has to stay with me”. She reported that she did not want to leave the child alone because she did not trust Shearer. The mother revealed that Thomas had told her about fantasies he had about having sex with other men and women. As a result, she only allowed the child to be alone with Thomas on two occasions. Once on a Saturday when she was working and another time while she was doing laundry and left for about three hours. During those three hours, Shearer did not answer his phone and refused to say where they went when she was gone. He reportedly told her “why do you need to know, you don’t need to know that”. The mother reported that when she asked the child he stated that he did not want to go anywhere with Thomas again and when she asked why he stated that he could not tell her because he will kill you.
The mother reported that Thomas had been violent with her and treated her poorly since their arrival. She stated that he has called her names in front of the child and hit her in the face on two different occasions. Once when she argued with him about not allowing them to eat the food in the house and the other time was when Shearer wanted to take the child somewhere and would not tell her where they were going. The mother stated she told Thomas he was not taking the child and he hit her in the face causing her to bleed.
The mother also reported that Shearer told her to get a job and that she had to turn all the money over to him because she owes him. He had told her that he spent a lot of money to get her here so she will do what he says. He refused to help her get a job, but a neighbor did help her and she was able to find work in Peru. She reported that she decided to hide the money from Shearer to buy food for her and the child.
The mother also reported that Shearer wanted her to have sex with other men. On the weekend of September 23, 2017, before she was taken to the hospital, Thomas told her he had made arrangements for her to have sex with someone. She told him that she didn’t want to and he stated that she was going to do it because he had spent a lot of money on her and she owed him money. The mother stated she did not know who or where this was to take place.
On the evening of the 23rd, while Shearer was gone, she heard someone knocking on the windows of the house. She reported that she was scared and contacted a friend who called the Police. When the Peru Police Department arrived, she had passed out. She stated that she is an insulin-dependent diabetic and she had not brought much insulin with her from Costa Rica so she had not been taking it. She was taken by ambulance to Dukes Memorial Hospital. Once at the hospital, the doctors noticed bruising consistent with domestic abuse. After staying at the hospital for several days, she reported staying at a woman’s shelter in Kokomo. It was while staying at this shelter that the child first reported being touched by Shearer.
On the evening of the September 23, when the mother was in the hospital, a friend went to the hospital to help. During this time, the mother learned that the child had left with one of Shearer’s friends and was taken to a campground east of Peru. The mother became very concerned and told her friend that she was worried that Shearer would kidnap the child because he had done it before in Costa Rica. The friend was able to locate the child and bring him back to the hospital. Later, Shearer called and told the friend that he wanted his “property” back. The friend asked if he meant a phone or what property and Thomas stated no I want my property that woman and little boy back. When the friend stated he would not be getting them back, Shearer stated that he was going to cut her head off and sell the kid in the sex trade.
After concluding the interview with the mother, Detective Beachy spoke with both the child and the mother with the permission of the mother. The child was asked about the time he left with Shearer and the child reported that they had gone to a big store with lots of tools in Kokomo. When Beachy asked the child, what happened on the trip that he was not supposed to tell his mother, he stated the only thing he wasn’t supposed to tell was about Thomas kissing him on the lips and touching his butt. He again stated that Thomas had told him he would kill his mom and hit him if he told.
Beachy also conducted an interview with an associate Pastor of a local church. The Pastor stated that he had been contacted by a member of his Church who was concerned about the family and was familiar with Shearer. The Pastor stated that when he first went to their house, the mother and child had 1 pair of clothes and no food. The Church took them shopping and started helping them from that point forward.
At the conclusion of the interviews, Detective Beachy requested an arrest warrant for Thomas E. Shearer and he was arrested on Friday, October 13, 2017. He was formally charged with: Child Solicitation, Sexual Battery, Domestic Battery and Intimidation X2. Shearer was taken to the Miami County Jail.
All criminal suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a Court of Law