A 44-year-old Elkhart man who has “fostered” approximately 50 children in his home since 1999 was indicted Wednesday by an Anderson County grand jury on more than 20 counts of sexual misconduct.

James Edward Vick, 44, of Elkhart was arrested by Anderson County sheriff’s authorities on May 1 on allegations that he sexually assaulted two of his former foster children sometime between September 2003 and December 2004.

On Wednesday, Vick was indicted on 21 separate counts, according to Scott Holden, Anderson County assistant district attorney. Seventeen of the counts were for indecency with a child by contact, three for aggravated sexual assault of a child and the other for indecency with a child by exposure, he added.

Holden said Wednesday’s indictments involve five separate female victims, with some of the alleged offenses occurring as far back as 1993. The vast majority of the offenses occurred when the victims were between the ages of 10 and 12, he added.

One of the victims is now 24, according to Holden. Three of the alleged victims were the accused man’s foster children at the time of the allegations, while two were not, he added.

Of the 21 indictments returned against Vick Wednesday, 18 are new indictments.

Vick was indicted on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and a single count of indecency with a child by contact this past summer. He was reindicted on those three counts Wednesday, Holden said.

The assistant district attorney said authorities have been unable to contact some persons who have lived with Vick in the past.

“We have concerns that there may be (more) victims that we have not identified,” Holden said.

Representatives of the Anderson County district attorney’s office, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Child Protective Services and the licensing division of CPS contributed to the investigation leading to Wednesday’s indictments.

Anderson County Sheriff’s investigator Sgt. Wendell Wilcher is heading that agency’s investigation into the cases against Vick who has been in the Anderson County Jail since his May 1 arrest.

Vick’s son, Michael Shane Vick, 19, of Elkhart was also arrested July 17 at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport upon his return from overseas military service. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Michael Vick was a juvenile at the time of the alleged offenses, but the state is expected to attempt to certify him to stand trial as an adult.

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Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

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