Man draws six-year term in sex offense case

December 16, 1997

Man draws six-year term in sex offense case


Staff Writer

A judge sentenced a Clear Spring man to six years in prison Monday morning for sexually molesting his 6-year-old stepgranddaughter several times last year.

The 57-year-old man, whose name is being withheld to protect the victim's identity, pleaded guilty to a third-degree sex offense in April.

Washington County Circuit Court Judge John H. McDowell also sentenced the man to four years probation and counseling after he gets out of prison.


The man molested the girl when he baby-sat her and her younger brother at his house. The girl's grandmother was at work at the time, said Deputy State's Attorney Charles Strong.

"I'm very sorry this has all happened and I apologize for it. I'd like to make it change, but I can't," the man told Judge McDowell before sentencing.

The victim's mother cried.

Defense lawyer George E. "Chip" Snyder Jr. said his client has been getting therapy several times a week and realizes what he did was wrong.

But McDowell said the man showed no remorse when police first confronted him with the girl's story.

"It shows you were minimizing your behavior," McDowell told him.

The girl's behavior has been affected by the abuse. She has been acting out in sexually inappropriate ways, McDowell said.

"The enormity of damage that has been done to the child is often not seen for many years," he said.

The man touched the girl's genital area, the judge said.

The girl told her mother about the incidents on Feb. 14, Strong said.

The girl's mother told authorities the incident has "brutally destroyed" the trust she placed in her family.

It also has damaged her relationship with her mother, who has stood by her husband, Snyder said.

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