Date: April 09, 2024

Location: N/A

Time: 0944 hours

Suspect Arrested #1: Thomas Blayne Pendergraft, 59 years old

Preliminary Charges: Count I: Child Molesting, a Class C Felony; Count II Child Molesting, a Level 4 Felony; Count III: Dissemination of Matter Harmful To A Minor, A Level 6 Felony; Count IV: Repeat Sexual Offender (Enhancement)


Last fall, a minor child reported that he was previously the victim of child sexual abuse. Detective RJ Sutphin, a member of the FWPD Crimes Against Persons Section (CAPS), was assigned as the lead detective. The child identified Thomas Blayne Pendergraft, a convicted sex offender, as the alleged defendant and disclosed the abuse occurred in Fort Wayne and Steuben County, Indiana. A joint investigation between both jurisdictions ensued. The alleged defendant was arrested by the Steuben County Sherriff’s Department in December 2023. An arrest warrant was issued earlier last week for the offenses that allegedly occurred in Allen County. He was arrested for the listed charges on April 04, 2024.

Detective Sutphin was assisted by the Steuben County Sherriff’s Department, the Dr. Bill Lewis Center For Children, the Allen County Sherriff’s Department, and the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS).