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Man sentenced in sexual assault case

March 10, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

A 19-year-old Smithsburg man was ordered to serve 18 months in jail and register as a child sex offender Thursday, more than a week after a Washington County Circuit Court jury convicted him of molesting a boy in 2004.

Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. sentenced Steven Anthony Barger on one count each of second-degree sex offense, sex abuse minor and second-degree assault.

Long ordered Barger to serve three 12-year prison sentences on each count, and suspended all but 18 months of each sentence. The 18-month sentences were ordered to be served concurrently at the Washington County Detention Center.

It took a Circuit Court jury less than 20 minutes to convict Barger on Feb. 28 of the charges, which stemmed from a Nov. 15, 2004, incident in which Barger engaged in a sex act with an 11-year-old boy he baby-sat, according to court documents.

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A 19-year-old woman was ordered by a Circuit judge to serve 18 months in prison on Oct. 27 after she pleaded guilty to second-degree assault upon the same victim. She entered the plea to charges she forced the 11-year-old boy to have sex with her while Barger baby-sat him. That incident occurred four days before the incident for which Barger was sentenced, according to court documents.

Barger's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Brian Hutchison, told Long that the woman was released from prison after serving only a couple of months of her sentence.

At the time of her sentencing, the woman alleged Barger, her boyfriend at the time, forced her to commit her offense.

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