INDIANA v. JEFFREY CHARLES BUZZARD was a 2013-14 Indiana criminal court case. In 2009, Jeffrey C. Buzzard and his newly wedded wife (his second), Stacy Alane Buzzard, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, were the subjects of multiple articles published in the general media and medical journals which chronicled Jehovah's Witness Stacy Buzzard's much heralded "miraculous" recovery after a complicated surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor. Stacy Buzzard died in January 2012. Stacy Hendry Buzzard left behind a teenaged son and a teenaged daughter from a previous marriage.
In March 2013, Jeffrey Buzzard, age 43, reportedly a member of the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Edgewood Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, was arrested on five counts of child molestation and five counts of child seduction after Buzzard's 19 year-old step-daughter was voluntarily admitted to a hospital for treatment for mental health issues. During treatment, she disclosed that Buzzard had started molesting her when she was in the 4th grade, that Buzzard had started having intercourse with her during her 6th grade in school, and that Buzzard had continued doing so until she reached age 18, in June 2011. The step-daughter told police that Buzzard had threatened to commit suicide when she informed him of her plans to report him to authorities. At trial, the step-daughter described how Buzzard used her mother's terminal illness to manipulate the relationship and to trap and isolate her.
In January 2014, Jeffrey Charles Buzzard was convicted on all ten counts, and in February 2014 was sentenced to a total of 126 years in prison. Throughout his arrest and prosecution, Buzzard adamantly denied every allegation, posed himself as the actual victim, and compared his prosecution to that of the "Salem Witch Trials" -- a "typical" Jehovah's Witness.
STACY ALANE BUZZARD
STACY ALANE BUZZARD, 43, died on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012. Born in Fort Wayne, she was a member of Edge wood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Surviving are her husband, Jeffrey Buzzard of Fort Wayne; son, Austin James Eads; daughter, Brooke Elizabeth Eads; father, Arnold Dean Hendry; and sisters, Kim Kuckuck, and Cindy Jackson. Memorial talk is 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, at Edgewood Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 6427 Blackstone Drive, visitation with the family is from 2 to 3 p.m. Ricardo Olvera officiating.
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Last updated: February 21, 2014 5:55 p.m.
Child molester, seducer sentenced to 126 years
Defendant not a victim, judge says
Rebecca S. Green | The Journal Gazette
FORT WAYNE -- Physical pain and emotional anguish, suicidal thoughts, nightmares, panic and trouble with relationships.
The young woman with long dark hair wept as she told Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck about what she endured for years at the hands of 44-year-old Jeffrey Buzzard.
What he did to her resulted in a 126-year prison sentence.
In January, based largely on her word alone, an Allen Superior Court jury convicted Buzzard of 10 charges – five counts of child molesting and five counts of child seduction.
Each of the child molesting charges applied to a different type of behavior Buzzard subjected the then-child to – intercourse and a variety of forced sex acts – during a period of years. The child seduction charges also outlined the same behavior, but applied to when the girl became a teenager.
She described how Buzzard used her mother's terminal illness to manipulate the relationship and to trap and isolate her.
"You have to have control over somebody," she said. "You knew what you were doing."
The case came to light two years ago when the now-young woman was voluntarily admitted to a hospital for treatment for mental health issues. During treatment, she disclosed that Buzzard had molested her from the time she was in the fourth grade and continued until she was 18 in June 2011.
Prosecutors charged Buzzard with the abuse in March, a year after he met with police and denied the allegations. He claimed to suffer from erectile dysfunction that started back in his first marriage. It was a statement not corroborated by his ex-wife, according to court documents.
As the young woman spoke Friday, taking back pieces of her life with each statement, Buzzard sat stone still.
"I am not as weak as you thought," the woman said. "I will not let you, Jeff, take my life away. I am not a victim anymore.… I still have my courage and my strength.
Buzzard offered no apology, continuing to assert his innocence.
"I did not abuse (her)," he said. "And she knows I didn't."
Buzzard said he was "shocked" at the whole event, claiming to have put so much into the woman's family and having it undone by a "concerted effort" on the part of others, comparing himself to a victim of the Salem Witch Trials.
When Surbeck spoke, he made clear who the wronged party in the case was, calling the victim's testimony "very credible."
"I saw nothing that remotely suggests the defendant is some kind of victim," Surbeck said.
He crafted the sentence in a way that allowed some terms to be served at the same time as others, but others in consecutive order. The total number of years was 126.
When he was asked whether he intended to appeal his conviction, Buzzard said quickly, "Absolutely."