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Man pleads guilty to molestation

May 02, 2000

A Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of sexual child abuse for molesting his stepdaughter over three years, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.

Judge Kennedy Boone postponed sentencing so a pre-sentence investigation could be completed. The man remained free on bond pending sentencing.

The name of the 43-year-old man is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim, now 14.

He could receive up to 15 years in prison.

On Nov. 7, the victim's mother took her to Hagerstown City Police to report the allegations revealed to her two days earlier, court records said.

The mother told police that when she confronted her husband, he sat with his head in his hands and said it was true but insisted he didn't force the child, even though he knew it was wrong, court records said.

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The girl told police some of the incidents occurred at her home and some at the site of her father's part-time job, court records said.

She said her stepfather told her not to tell anyone because "she would only ruin the lives around her," court records said.

In exchange for the plea, additional charges of second-degree assault, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses, and contributing to the condition of a child were dismissed.

- Marlo Barnhart

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