Contributor to Ball State's public relations program, retired professor arrested on charges of child molestation

Melvin Sharpe

A retired Ball State public relations faculty member was arrested Wednesday on charges of child molestation.

Melvin Sharpe, who retired from Ball State in 2007, was arrested at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. The affidavit for his arrest said he molested a boy over multiple years.

The victim, who is 15 years old, disclosed the abuse to officials at the Delaware County Child Advocacy Center.

According to the affidavit, sexual abuse lasted about five years, taking place from when the victim was age 7 or 8 until seventh grade. During that time, Sharpe regularly showered with him and touched him inappropriately, the report said.

In addition to sexual abuse, the victim also reported emotional and physical abuse.

According to the affidavit, when he was arrested, Sharpe said he “had nothing to hide” and admitted to showering with the boy.

Sharpe, 78, is credited with molding the public relations sequence over his 25 years at Ball State.

He was named one of the 10 most outstanding public relations educators by PR Week and returned to Ball State in 2011 to give the Vernon C. Schranz Distinguished Lecture.

He was arrested on one count of child molest and one count of child solicitation.


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