Woman pleads guilty to additional sexual abuse charges

March 30, 2011|By DON AINES |

HAGERSTOWN — A woman serving a 16-year state prison sentence on child abuse and child pornography convictions could be sentenced to another 15 years after she pleaded guilty this week in Washington County Circuit Court to more sexual abuse charges involving other victims.

Jessica Renee Selby, 38, formerly of Hagerstown, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of sex abuse of a minor as a continuing course of conduct and sex abuse of a minor in exchange for the dismissal of 38 other related child sexual abuse charges, according to court records.

Judge Daniel P. Dwyer deferred sentencing to a later date. The two charges Selby pleaded guilty to carry a maximum sentence of 55 years in prison, Dwyer told her.

Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson said, under the terms of the plea agreement, she will serve up to 15 years in prison and be available to testify if another case against her husband, Charles William Selby III, 43, goes to trial.

One of the victims, a girl, was present in court to read a victim-impact statement, but instead had it read into the record by a family member who accompanied her to court.

“I’m healing by going to therapy every week for an hour,” the girl wrote in her statement. The abuse led to difficulties in school and in making friends, but she was now on the honor roll at her school, she wrote.

“I do not want to see her anymore or have anything to do with her,” the girl wrote of Jessica Selby.

Charles Selby is serving 20 years in state prison for his 2009 conviction on three child pornography charges and one count of third-degree sex offense, court records said.

Jessica Selby is serving a 16-year sentence for 2009 convictions for child pornography and third- and fourth-degree sex offenses, court records said.

In that case, Charles and Renee Selby were charged with sexually assaulting two teenage girls.

In November 2010, prosecutors filed 14 counts of sex abuse of a minor, nine counts of second-degree sex offense and one count of third-degree sex offense against Charles Selby, court records said.

The case in which Jessica Selby entered a guilty plea to on Tuesday was also filed last November, court records said.

The charges filed in November allege the couple molested two younger children, a boy and a girl, during a period from 2006 to 2008.

Wilson told Dwyer the Selbys watched both children during the day over part of that period. The boy later told a parent about the incidents of sexual abuse, and the girl disclosed her experiences during counseling, he said.

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