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Man charged with sex abuse of toddler

September 10, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Martinsburg man who police allege assaulted a 2-year-old girl is charged with sexual abuse and first-degree sexual assault, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

John Paul Knipple Jr., 28, of 412 Winchester Ave., on Thursday was in Eastern Regional Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond set by Magistrate Sandra L. Miller, according to court and jail records.

Knipple told police he left the girl and another child with two men Sept. 1 while he went to a 7-Eleven convenience store to buy a soda and a lottery ticket, according to a complaint filed by Martinsburg Police Cpl. S.F. Doyle.

Police did not find Knipple in surveillance footage at the convenience store nor did they find a record of a purchase at the business Sept. 1 that matched Knipple's statement, according to Doyle's complaint.

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A neighbor told police he did not see the men identified by Knipple arrive at or leave the girl's home that afternoon, and both men whom Knipple implicated individually told police they were not at the home during the time in question, according to Doyle's complaint.

Knipple was charged with sexual assault in November 2006, according to court records. Police in Martinsburg alleged he admitted to having intercourse with a 15-year-old girl, but the charge was dismissed in 2007 as part of a plea agreement, court records show.

Knipple entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor count of battery and a 60-day jail sentence was suspended in exchange for one year of probation as part of the plea agreement, court records show.

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