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Man sentenced for sexually abusing adopted daughter

April 23, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A 36-year-old Hagerstown man was sentenced to serve 16 years in prison Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court for subjecting his adopted daughter to four years of sexual abuse.

"The most persuasive evidence was the testimony of the child,'' said Judge Darrow Glaser, who presided over both the trial and Wednesday's sentencing.

That victim, now 13, wrote a detailed impact statement but she also wanted to be heard in court Wednesday.

"I just want to see him get what he deserves,'' the child said.

The defendant's father spoke briefly, telling Glaser that his son has never been in any trouble.

"I would like to take my son home today,'' the father said. "He's been here too long now.''

But Glaser said that was not going to happen.

"What he put this child through, physically and mentally . . . the sentence can't be measured in months,'' Glaser said.

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The sentence was 18 years for 2nd-degree sex offense, two more years for sodomy and four more years for 3rd-degree sex offense.

Eight of those years were suspended and supervised probation for five years was ordered.

Concurrent sentences were also levied: four years for child abuse, five years for assault, two years for perverted practices, two years for third-degree sex offense, one year for battery.

Upon release, the defendant was ordered to enroll in a sex offender program and pay for any additional counseling the victim might need.

At the trial, the victim described in painful detail how she said her adopted father sodomized her in the family home over a period of four years.

Bolstering her testimony were statements of Dr. Saeed Zaidi, a Washington County Hospital physician who examined the girl last February when charges against her father came to light.

The child testified the abuse began when she was 8 years old and continued several times a month in the basement while the mother was out of the house.

Those allegations were hotly denied at the trial by the defendant who testified he believes his estranged wife put the child up to the charges to "fix him.''

The child's testimony was backed up by her older brother who said he heard his sister crying and saying "no, no'' on several occasions.

After four years, the girl testified she finally "had enough'' in February 1996 and wrote a letter to her mother that led to the charges against the defendant.

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