Former Hagerstown man, ex-wife sentenced to prison for child sex abuse

Judge gives Charles William Selby III additional 180 years, a day after Jessica Selby gets 15-year sentence

November 30, 2011|By DON AINES |

HAGERSTOWN — A day after his former wife was sentenced to another 15 years in prison for child sex abuse, Charles William Selby III was sentenced Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court to 180 years behind bars in addition to the 20 years he is already serving for another child-molestation conviction.

Charles Selby, 43, formerly of Hagerstown, was convicted by a county circuit court jury in August of 24 criminal counts, including nine counts of sex abuse of a minor, for which Judge Donald E. Beachley sentenced him to 20-year consecutive sentences, according to court records.

"It's hard for me to show remorse for something I didn't do," Selby told Beachley. Selby said there is a "girl who knows I did not do this stuff," but he said he was unable to find this "key witness" before the trial.

Assistant Public Defender Charles Bailey told Beachley that Selby had been a model prisoner and asked for a sentence "that would allow him hope of returning to the community."

But Beachley said Charles Selby was "too dangerous, too depraved to live among law-abiding citizens."

Jessica Selby, 29, who was sentenced by Judge Daniel P. Dwyer on Tuesday, had testified against her husband during the trial, which involved allegations of sexual molestation of a young girl and boy, Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said at her sentencing.

Jessica Selby volunteered the information to Maryland State Police prior to the latest charges being filed against her and her former husband in March, and her testimony corroborated the account of one of the victims, Wilson told Dwyer.

Charles Selby, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to making child pornography and other sex offenses, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, court records said. Those cases involved teenage girls, the records said.

Jessica Selby also had pleaded guilty in 2009 to related child pornography and third- and fourth-degree sexual offenses and was sentenced to 16 years in prison, the records said.

On Tuesday, Dwyer sentenced Jessica Selby to another to 25 years with 10 years suspended for her guilty pleas to sex abuse of a minor as a continuing course of conduct and sex abuse of a minor. The sentence is consecutive to the 16 years she received in 2009, he said.

Jessica Selby's defense attorney, Bernard W. Semler II, asked Dwyer to consider a lesser sentence, considering her cooperation in the prosecution of Charles Selby. While not saying his client was less culpable than her former husband, Semler said the marriage might have contributed to her behavior.

"I do think it made the perfect storm for something evil," Semler said. 

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