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Man guilty of child sex abuse

August 09, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

A jury on Thursday convicted a Hagerstown man in Washington County Circuit Court of five charges related to sexual abuse of his live-in girlfriend's daughter.

The man's identity is not being published to protect the identity of the girl.

After mid-trial motions, the man was acquitted on four child abuse charges, and five charges were sent to the jury of four women and eight men. Those charges were two counts of second-degree rape, two counts of child abuse by a custodian and one count of sex abuse of a minor.

The combined maximum penalty the man faces is 85 years in prison.

The allegations came to light in December 2002 when the girl's mother confronted her daughter, who was 16, and the daughter said the man had been abusing her sexually since age 11, according to court testimony. The mother and daughter went to the Hagerstown Police Department and told Det. Patricia Moulton the man began raping the girl in spring 1998, but she was afraid to tell her mother what was going on.

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The abuse continued for 4 1/2 years, with the man allegedly demanding sex in exchange for allowing the girl to participate in social activities such as going to the movies or the prom, according to court papers.

While the man on Thursday denied having sex with the girl, he admitted to Moulton on a taped police interview that he had done so three times. Part of the interview was played in court.

Circuit Judge John H. McDowell ordered a pre-sentence investigation, after which a sentencing hearing will be scheduled.

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