New York Times, February 9, 2000
Foster Parent Sentenced in Molesting
By The Associated Press
ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) -- A foster parent who prevented a girl in his care from being adopted by a gay man was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison for molesting the girl.
Earl ``Butch'' Kimmerling pleaded guilty last month to four counts of molesting his foster daughter, now 9. He and his wife, Saundra, fought in 1998 to keep the girl from being adopted by Craig Peterson -- a gay man who had adopted the little girl's three brothers.
At his sentencing, Kimmerling tearfully apologized for molesting the girl and pleaded for leniency. He could have received up to 50 years in prison.
Prosecutors had argued for a harsh sentence. ``It's hypocrisy at its highest level. He holds himself out to be a person of God, as a representative of the Christian community, and at the same time engaging in outrageous behavior,'' prosecutor Rodney Cummings said.
During their adoption fight, the Kimmerlings gained support from various Indiana political figures, including Anderson Mayor Mark Lawler and a Republican state representative who unsuccessfully tried to ban gay adoptions.
The Kimmerlings eventually succeeded in adopting the girl, but Kimmerling was arrested and charged with molesting her after Saundra Kimmerling notified police.
The girl remained in Saundra Kimmerling's care.