A Syracuse man was sentenced to nine years in the Indiana Department of Corrections for rape, with two years suspended for probation.

Timothy E. Rottger, 44, pleaded guilty to the level 3 felony on Feb. 4. This morning, Kosciusko County Superior Court I Judge David Cates accepted the plea and gave Rottger seven days of actual jail time credit. He also must pay all probation fees, register as a sex offender and pay $500 for the sex offender registry, $300 to the county for legal counsel, go to the Bowen Center at his expense and follow any recommendations they give him and pay all other fees and fines. He also must have no contact with the victim “whatsoever,” Cates said.

“Simply put: No means no,” Cates told Rottger.

At 10:17 p.m. Dec. 7, 2017, the Kosciusko County Dispatch Center received a 911 call from the victim stating she had been raped by Rottger. While sleeping, she had awakened and found Rottger on top of her.

According to a probable cause affidavit, when deputies arrived at Rottger’s home, the victim said that she was at the Rottger home with him and his wife drinking alcohol. She told police that she believed she was too drunk to drive home. The Rottgers allowed her  to sleep in a spare bedroom.

The victim said she had been asleep for a few hours when she woke up and found Rottger having intercourse with her. She said she forced Rottger off of her and fled to the kitchen to obtain her cellphone. She then called 911 to report the alleged assault. During that time, Rottger allegedly pleaded with her not to call the police.

After the victim made the call, Rottger’s wife came out of her bedroom and the victim asked for her clothes. The victim dressed and went outside to wait for police.

In court this morning, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brad Voelz read a letter out loud from the victim. She described how Rottger took everything from her and how little she felt about herself and how little she has left. “This has been my personal hell,” she wrote. “... I lost every single person I love because I shut them out from fear” of being touched.

She said it took her awhile to realize the rape wasn’t her fault and being drunk does not equal consent. She said she’s had nightmares since that night and she’s turned into a woman very few people recognize.

Rottger’s attorney, Anthony S. Churchward, said his client does have a significant criminal history but most offenses were committed before he was 25 – driving while suspended, theft, resisting law enforcement and possession of marijuana, and that the offenses weren’t violent. Churchward said alcohol was a factor in the Dec. 7 incident as Rottger was drinking heavily that night.

Churchward pointed out that Rottger had a number of family and friends in the courtroom, supporting him, though none wanted to speak. He said those family and friends will support Rottger afterward, too.

He said since Rottger had a previous felony, the minimum Cates could give him was three years and Churchward suggested that be his sentence.

Rottger apologized to the court for the trouble and for every party involved in the crime.

Cates told Rottger he appreciated the apologies and happy to see he had some support, but he wasn’t convinced Rottger was taking responsibility for his actions.

“There was no consent,” Cates said.