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Man sentenced to eight years in prison in molestation case

February 07, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A Williamsport man pleaded guilty Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to sexually molesting a 12-year-old girl and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

William Burnell Nulph, 39, of 157 N. Conococheague St., pleaded guilty to a second-degree sex offense and was sentenced by Circuit Judge John H. McDowell to 15 years in prison, with seven years suspended. The conviction also requires Nulph to register with the state as a sex offender for the rest of his life, McDowell said.

Nulph was living in the carport of a friend in June 2010 when the incident occurred, according to the application for statement of charges filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The friend contacted the sheriff’s office June 23, telling investigators that Nulph, while intoxicated, admitted to having sexual contact with the 12-year-old girl living next door, charging documents said.

The girl also told Nulph’s friend what happened and the girl’s younger brother told the man that Nulph gave him $5 to “get lost” and leave him alone with the girl, charging documents said.

The girl was interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center and told investigators that she and her brother were sitting on the hood of their parents’ vehicle when Nulph came up to them. The brother told investigators that Nulph gave him $4 to “take a walk.”

A jury trial had been scheduled for Monday before Nulph entered the plea agreement. Charges of third-degree sex offense, fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault were dismissed as part of the plea agreement, Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson said.

Nulph did not want the victim to have to testify, Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa said.

“I’ve never been in any kind of trouble like this before,” Nulph told McDowell. “I can’t blame it on the alcohol. I should have used better judgment.”

“This was not just a mistake ... There was a young girl who was vulnerable and you took advantage of her,” McDowell said.

The judge told Nulph he must serve at least half his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Once released, Nulph will be on supervised probation for four years and must have no contact with anyone younger than 14.

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