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Berkeley Co. man charged with sexual abuse

March 16, 2006|by ROBERT SNYDER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A 60-year old Berkeley County man was jailed this week on charges he sexually abused two 7-year-old girls during several incidents while they were under his care.

Russell Charles Wesley, of Martinsburg, was charged Monday with four counts of sexual abuse, after acknowledging to police that he participated in 12 to 15 sexual encounters with the girls that started after they began spending time at his house beginning in August 2005.

Wesley, who was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of sexual abuse by a custodian, initially told police under questioning that there had not been any misconduct with the girls, who would play in their underwear during their visits, according to police records filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

He later admitted to several incidents, which he said were initiated by the one of the girls, with the other girl also joining in, records show. Wesley, who has no previous convictions for sexual abuse in Berkeley County, told police he allowed the sexual abuse to occur because he enjoyed it, records show.

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West Virginia State Trooper First Class J.C. Weaver investigated the incidents last week after receiving a complaint from the mother of one of the girls, who told police Wesley touched them through their clothing while he sat between them on his couch, records show.

Police also interviewed the second girl, who provided greater detail of the abuse, records show.

Both girls reported Wesley told them not to reveal the abuse, records show.

He was being held Tuesday at Eastern Regional Jail on $100,000 bail.

If convicted, he faces one to five years in state prison and/or $10,000 for each of the two counts of first degree sexual abuse, and 10 to 20 years in prison for each charge of sexual abuse by a custodian.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 22.

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