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Man gets five years for soliciting child pornography

December 11, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

A Smithsburg man accused in August of videotaping himself and a child in the nude was sentenced Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court to serve five years in prison.

Jay Leroy Overcash, 27, of 22038 Jefferson Blvd., pleaded guilty to one count each of first-degree assault and solicitation for child pornography.

"Your actions have destroyed the innocence of a young girl," said Circuit Judge John H. McDowell.

Originally, Overcash also was charged with possession of child pornography, filming a child in a sex act, child abuse and contributing to the condition of a child. Those charges were dropped in exchange for the pleas.

A 911 hangup call on July 9 sent Washington County Sheriff's deputies to the Smithsburg home where Overcash had threatened the child's mother with a shotgun when he learned the 5-year-old child had told her of the sexual encounter, court records said.

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The expanding investigation revealed that Overcash had videotaped himself in the nude and that the child was with him at the time.

The tapes were cut up and placed in the trash, but were repaired by forensic chemist Jeff Kercheval at the Western Maryland Regional Crime Laboratory.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said at first, the videotape showed the child clothed but she removed her clothing at Overcash's urging.

The child was then asked to touch herself and she does, court records said. Overcash then asked her to perform certain sexual acts on him and she refused, Cirincion said.

During most of the homemade videotape, an X-rated tape was being played on another VCR with both Overcash and the child watching it, Cirincion said.

When the child was questioned by Investigator Kenny Barnhart, she said she and Overcash would go down into the basement, "get naked," and make a movie.

"The tapes show he was grooming this child for inappropriate sexual behavior," Cirincion said.

The child's mother and father attended Thursday's hearing and each spoke of the impact of the incident on their child and their family.

"I hope he rots in hell," the father said, tearfully.

The child's mother said her daughter wanted Overcash to go to jail.

"We're very proud of her for telling," she said.

Defense attorney Martin Palmer said Overcash is in therapy and has become involved in a supportive church group.

Blaming exposure to pornography at the age of 8 for much of Overcash's problems, Palmer asked for a suspended sentence so he could continue therapy.

"I'm terribly sorry for what I've done but it won't help this family if I were to be put away," Overcash said.

In addition to the five-year sentence for solicitation for pornography, McDowell fined Overcash $1,500. A consecutive five-year sentence for the assault was suspended.

McDowell ordered Overcash to register as a convicted sex offender, have no firearms, and have no unsupervised contact with children under 16.

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