Clear Spring man guilty in teen sex assault case

November 09, 2000

Clear Spring man guilty in teen sex assault case

By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer

A Clear Spring area man accused of sexually assaulting five Clear Spring Middle School girls half his age last May faces a possible 30-year prison sentence.

Ralph Allen Wiles Jr., 27, pleaded guilty Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court to one count of second-degree rape and one count of third-degree sex offense involving two of those girls.

Washington County State's Attorney Kenneth Long told Judge Frederick Wright that the incidents came to light on May 25 when the girls began telling a teacher they had been sexually assaulted.

Wiles, of 12619 Rockdale Road, Clear Spring, has been held at the Washington County Detention Center since his arrest.

Sgt. Mark Faith got a call from Family Life Educator Carol Costello in reference to sexual assaults of several of her female students at Clear Spring Middle School, all 13 or 14 years old, court records said.


Investigator Kenny Barnhart, who began interviewing the girls the next day, learned most first met Wiles at a Hagerstown skating rink.

In describing the second-degree rape charge, Long said the 14-year-old girl told authorities Wiles came to her home and then she went to an apartment in Hagerstown where he took off her clothes and had sexual relations with her.

The girl said she had oral sex with Wiles in his car, Long said.

The 13-year-old said she met Wiles through friends and related an incident with him at her house in April.

Long said Wiles touched the girl's breasts under her shirt. She told him to stop, saying she wasn't ready for that, Long said.

In the counts that were dropped Thursday, another 13-year-old girl told authorities she agreed to meet Wiles in a parking lot on Walnut Point Road on May 17 and they had oral sex and intercourse in his vehicle, court records said.

After first meeting Wiles in March, another 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, court records said.

In all, Wiles had been 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.

All were dropped in exchange for the two pleas Thursday.

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

Third-degree sex offense carries a 10-year maximum sentence.

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