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Cops say man had sex with 5 teens

June 22, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

A Clear Spring man has been charged with nearly 30 sexual offenses against five Clear Spring Middle School girls, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

In late May, the five teenage girls began telling a teacher they had been sexually assaulted by a man more than twice their age. Three girls said they had sexual intercourse with him, according to court records.

On Tuesday, Ralph Allen Wiles Jr., 27, was charged with 29 criminal offenses that included second-degree rape and assault, according to Investigator Kenny Barnhart.

Wiles, of 12619 Rockdale Road, was being held at the Washington County Detention Center Thursday on $375,000 bond, according to court records.

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An investigation began May 25 when Sgt. Mark Faith received a call from Family Life Educator Carol Costello about reported sexual assaults of several of her female students. All were 13 or 14 years old, court records said.

Barnhart, who began interviewing the girls the next day, learned most of them first met Wiles at Turners Family Skating Rink on Virginia Avenue near Hagerstown.

One 13-year-old said she met Wiles in December and he kissed and fondled her while they were in a vehicle, court records said.

The encounters progressed to sex in the girl's home while her parents were away and at Wiles' former apartment in Hagerstown, court records said.

A second 13-year-old girl said she agreed to meet Wiles in the parking lot of Heritage Academy on May 17 and they had sex in his vehicle, court records said.

After first meeting Wiles in March, a 14-year-old girl told Barnhart she would sneak out of her home when Wiles called and meet him on Ernstville Road where they had sex in his vehicle.

Two other girls, one 13 and the other 14, said Wiles touched them indecently, court records said.

Wiles is charged with four counts of second-degree rape, eight counts of third-degree sexual offenses, two counts of second-degree assault, four counts of second-degree sexual offenses, and 11 counts of contributing to the condition of a child.

In Maryland, second-degree rape carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison in cases where the victim is 14 or younger and the accused is at least four years older, even if the sex was by mutual consent, court records said.

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