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Hagerstown man sentenced to 10 years for sex offense

Mom's teen live-in boyfriend admits to abusing her daughter

Mom's teen live-in boyfriend admits to abusing her daughter

October 17, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- An 18-year-old man pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual offense Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court in connection with an April 4 encounter during which he had intercourse with an 11-year-old girl who was the daughter of his girlfriend.

Jonathan Gordon was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the maximum penalty for the offense. Other charges, including second-degree rape and second-degree assault, were dropped in exchange for the plea.

Gordon was 17 and living in the victim's home as her mother's live-in boyfriend at the time of the crime, Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said during his statement of facts.

Gordon and the girl were home while the girl's mother was at work, Wilson said. The girl told investigators that Gordon took off her pants and underwear, and then took off his. She was crying while Gordon had intercourse with her, and he only stopped when the girl's younger brothers could be heard coming downstairs, Wilson said.

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A medical exam showed the girl had injuries consistent with having been sexually assaulted, Wilson said.

During a sentencing hearing Thursday afternoon, Wilson read a portion of the victim impact statement written by the girl.

She was "sad" because Gordon told her he would hurt her if she told anyone what happened, and "scared he was going to do something really bad to me," Wilson said, reading from the letter.

Gordon was "someone she thought she was safe with," Wilson said.

He recommended Gordon be sentenced to three to six years in prison.

While Gordon has a history in the juvenile system, he had only been treated for substance abuse, not mental health, said Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa. He had no prior sexual offense charges, she said.

Gordon had a history of trauma, and began using drugs and alcohol when he was 13, she said.

He has a child due in January by a woman who had also lived in the home with the victim, Villa said.

Villa asked Washington County Circuit Court Judge Donald E. Beachley to consider a time-served sentence or community detention program for Gordon.

Reports indicate that Gordon is a "highly sexualized person" who began engaging in sexual activity when he was 12, who has had multiple sexual partners and uses pornography extensively, Beachley said.

The charges against Gordon were "really, really serious" and the guidelines recommended by the state were too low, Beachley said before he sentenced Gordon to 10 years in prison. Upon his release, Gordon will also have to register as a child sexual offender.

Beachley also spoke to the victim's mother from the bench. He questioned why the mother had been in a relationship with a 17-year-old and said she had "failed miserably" in providing a safe environment for her children.

"It's absolutely unforgivable, and your daughter is paying the price," Beachley said.

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