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Man gets 20 years in prison for abusing his stepson

October 20, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN - A 45-year-old Washington County man was ordered in Washington County Circuit Court on Thursday to serve 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he made his 8-year-old stepson perform sexual acts with him in 2004.

The man, whose identity is being withheld to protect the identity of his stepson, pleaded guilty in Circuit Court in July to second-degree sex offense for sexual contact with his stepson between Aug. 1, 2004, and Aug. 31, 2004, and second-degree assault for sexual contact with the boy Nov. 24, 2004.

Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. told the man, "That child is going to have to deal with the issues - the fallout of what happened - probably for the rest of his life."

Long ordered the man to register for life as a child sex offender.

Long ordered the man to serve 20 years for second-degree sex offense and a consecutive 10 years for second-degree assault. Long suspended the 10-year sentence and ordered the man to serve five years supervised probation upon his release from prison.

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Washington County State's Attorney Charles P. Strong Jr. said after the sentencing, "Experience has shown the only way to deal with sex offenders suffering from pedophilia is separation from society. Treatment has not been shown to work."

Treatment is what the man's attorney, Stephen H. Sacks, said the man needs to get past his disorder.

Sacks said his client was sentenced in Montgomery County to two concurrent but suspended 15-year sentences for child abuse in 1994 for a similar set of circumstances.

The man successfully completed five years of supervised probation before he reverted to his past behavior, Sacks said.

"He made the mistake of feeling he was well, of controlling the disorder he no doubt has," Sacks said.

The man told Long he knows he needs punishment for his actions and apologized to the mother of the boy and to his family.

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