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City man charged in sex assault on daughter

July 26, 2002|by KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown father who falsely told police that a naked man entered his Winter Street home and molested his 5-year-old daughter Tuesday was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting that child and her 4-year-old sister, police said.

The 31-year-old man was charged with two counts each of child abuse-parent, second-degree assault, third-degree sexual offense, fourth-degree sexual offense and contributing to the condition of a child; and one count of making a false statement to a police officer.

The man was being held at the Washington County Detention Center in lieu of $25,000 bond.

The man's name was not released to protect the identity of the children.

Since the incident, the man had maintained that a naked intruder assaulted the children, but his version of events "didn't add up," Hagerstown City Police Detective Steve Hoover said.

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The man confessed to assaulting both children during an interview Thursday afternoon with Hoover and Detective Patricia Moulton, Hoover said.

Hoover said the 5-year-old girl was asleep in her bedroom when her father came in and allegedly fondled her Tuesday morning.

After molesting her, the father went into the home's second bedroom and allegedly fondled the 4-year-old as she slept in a bed with her mother, police said.

As he molested the younger sister, the mother heard a noise and woke up, Hoover said.

The father made up a story about a man entering the home through an unlocked kitchen window and sexually assaulting the 5-year-old as she slept in her bedroom, Hoover said. The father said the man then fled naked through the same kitchen window, Hoover said.

Believing the story, the mother called 911 at 1:50 a.m. and reported the intrusion to Hagerstown City Police, he said.

The children were not much help in identifying their attacker because of their age, it was dark in the bedrooms and they had been sleeping, Hoover said.

The 5-year-old was treated for bruises at Washington County Hospital and released. The 4-year-old was examined at the hospital but didn't require treatment, Hagerstown City Police Chief Arthur Smith said.

The two girls are in good condition despite the assault, Smith said.

"The mother, to say the least, is distraught and worried about the well-being of the two girls," Smith said.

Smith credited Lt. Rick Johnson, Moulton and Hoover with working long hours and following up on numerous leads to make an arrest.

Smith said police looked into other suspects, including other family members and strangers.

Residents in the Winter Street neighborhood can "relax," because the father's story about a naked intruder was false, Smith said.

Police are continuing their investigation.

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