Wells County judge sentences two men for child molesting, other crimes

BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE) Two Wells County men were sentenced Wednesday to lengthy prison sentences by Judge Kenton Kiracofe for their crimes against children.

Ricky Sands and Thomas Weldt
Photos of Ricky Sands (L) and Thomas Weldt (R) provided by the WElls County Sheriff’s Dept.

Thomas J. Weldt, 53, of Bluffton was ordered to serve 35 years. In August of 2015, police were contacted after an employee of the Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District had gotten an anonymous tip regarding child abuse. An investigation led to the discovery of child pornography on DVDs and electronic devices belonging to Weldt. He was charged with 31 counts of crimes against children. In August of this year he pleaded guilty to felony charges of child exploitation, possession of child pornography, promotion of human trafficking of a minor and child molesting.

Weldt will not be eligible for release from prison until he has served 30 years of his sentence because of a previous felony conviction.

Ricky L. Sands, 65, of Ossian received a of 50 years for his convictions on child molesting, dissemination of matter harmful to minors and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was charged in June following a brief investigation by the Ossian Police Department. Sands won’t be eligible for release from prison until he has served approximately 25 years of his sentence.