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Man faces 58 sex violations

February 14, 2002

Man faces 58 sex violations



Martinsburg, W.Va.

By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


A Martinsburg man was charged Wednesday with 58 sex violations stemming from allegations he fondled his nieces when the girls visited his house on W.Va. 45 in the mid-1970s, court records said.

The man, who is not being identified to protect the identities of the women, was arraigned on 29 counts of first-degree sexual abuse and 29 counts of incest, Berkeley County Magistrate Court records said.

He was being held Wednesday night in the Eastern Regional Jail on $580,000 bond, jail officials said.

The man also was charged earlier this month with 11 counts of first-degree sexual abuse in connection with allegations made by three stepgrandchildren, West Virginia State Police Trooper J.M. Droppleman said.

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One of the victims told her mother about the alleged abuse, Droppleman said. Then the other two sisters said they, too, had been abused, Droppleman said.

After the man's two nieces found out about the 11 charges against the man, they met with state police to file complaints about sexual abuse they said they had endured, Droppleman said.

One of the nieces, who is 33 years old, said she was between 6 and 9 years old when her uncle abused her, according to a criminal complaint. Most of the incidents are alleged to have occurred in the living room, where her uncle would have her sit on his lap, according to a criminal complaint. The woman alleged that her uncle fondled her at least 20 times.

The second niece, who is 32 years old, alleged her uncle would fondle her when the two went outside to feed a dog when she was 5 to 8 years old, the complaint said.

Conviction on a first-degree sexual abuse charge carries a penalty of one to five years in prison, a fine not more than $10,000, or both, Magistrate Carlton DeHaven said Wednesday.

Conviction on an incest charge carries a possible punishment of five to 15 years in prison, a fine of not less than $5,000, or both, DeHaven said.

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