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Man gets 13 years in abuse of kids

November 23, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

A 53-year-old Hagerstown man who admitted sexually abusing both his daughter and his son many years ago has been sentenced to 13 years in prison in Washington County Circuit Court.

The man pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual child abuse in late September. Each count carried a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Last Thursday, Washington County Circuit Judge John McDowell imposed the maximum sentence in each case and ordered they be served consecutively.

Then McDowell suspended all but 6 1/2 years in each case, making a total of 13 years to be served.

In order to protect the victims, now 22 and 26, the name of the man is being withheld.

The allegations against the father for sexually assaulting his daughter 17 years ago triggered similar claims from the man's son, resulting in more charges in June, according to Maryland State Police.

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The son was contacted during the police investigation into his sister's accusations against her father, said Trooper 1st Class Michael Potter.

In exchange for the pleas on Sept. 24, charges of second- and third-degree sex offenses, and incest were dropped, court records said.

The daughter came to the Hagerstown barracks of the Maryland State Police in September 1997 and reported that her father had begun fondling her in 1981 when she was 5, police said.

The abuse progressed to oral sex and sexual intercourse when the family moved to another area, police said.

The victim alleges that the abuse continued even after she became of legal age, with the last incident occurring two years ago, police said.

The son's allegations were of sexual contact with his father for six years between 1982-88, Potter said.

The man was also ordered to pay $2,514 for the costs of the daughter's counseling.

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