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W.Va. man faces more charges of sexual abuse

April 19, 2007|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A man accused last week of having sexual encounters with his granddaughter now faces allegations that he sexually abused his granddaughter's young child, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

The Herald-Mail does not identify those accused of sexual assault if doing so would identify the victim.

Already charged with 10 felony counts of incest, the 79-year-old great-grandfather on Wednesday was arraigned on 10 felony counts of sexual abuse by a parent and/or guardian, court records show.

The granddaughter's 7-year-old daughter told West Virginia State Police Trooper J.D. Schuessler on April 12 that "pappy" rubbed her "privacy area" on 10 different occasions during the summer of 2005, according to a complaint filed by State Police Sgt. D.E. Boober.

The girl told Schuessler that each encounter happened in her great-grandfather's bedroom at his house near Martinsburg, Boober said.

Boober later noted in his complaint that a search of the man's home led to the discovery of hidden cameras and numerous video tapes that depicted child pornography.

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On Wednesday, a preliminary hearing held for the incest charges filed against the man last week was continued in order to allow him to retain new legal counsel, officials said. The incest charges came about after the accused went to the State Police Martinsburg Detachment barracks on April 10, 2007, to file a credit card fraud complaint, State Police had said.

While at the barracks, he told police that he suspected his granddaughter had initiated several fraudulent transactions, records show.

The granddaughter told police in a subsequent interview April 10 that she had her grandfather's permission to use his credit card to purchase crack cocaine for the two of them, court records show. She also said her grandfather had taken video footage of her while she was in the bathroom without her permission, court records show.

In a second interview, police had said the man admitted to video recording his granddaughter and having sexual relations with her 10 to 15 times. But police also had said that he claimed she was blackmailing him. The sexual encounters involving his granddaughter allegedly happened between Jan. 1, 2004, and Dec. 31, 2006, police have said.

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