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Man, 81, convicted in incest, abuse case

November 02, 2008

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - An 81-year-old man was convicted this week in Berkeley County Circuit Court of two felony counts of incest and one felony count of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian in a case that authorities said involved the man's granddaughter and her young daughter.

The Herald-Mail does not identify those accused or convicted of sex crimes if doing so would identify the victim.

By entering guilty pleas to the felony charges Monday as part of a plea agreement, the man avoided a trial scheduled to begin Tuesday and avoided prosecution on more than a dozen charges.

West Virginia State Police last year alleged that the man inappropriately touched the "privacy area" of his granddaughter's young girl multiple times in the summer of 2005 and had sex with his granddaughter multiple times between 2004 and 2006. The encounters with his granddaughter were recorded on video without her knowledge, police had said.

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The man is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 20, 2009, by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes, who could order two prison sentences of not less than five or more than 15 years and a third prison term of not less than 10 or more than 20 years be served concurrently or consecutively, according to a conviction order signed by the judge.

Prosecuting Attorney Pamela J. Games-Neely's office agreed to recommend the sentences for incest be served at the same time as the sexual abuse prison term and to drop remaining counts of an indictment.

Wilkes is free to decide the severity of the terms, according to the order.

The man also must register for life as a sex offender, according to the order.

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