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Bond hearing held in decade-old child sexual abuse case

July 23, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A man who had been held in a Pennsylvania state prison was in Washington County District Court on Monday for a bond hearing on child sexual abuse charges from a decade ago, court records said.

William Thomas Berry III, 28, formerly of Hagerstown, is being held on charges of sexual abuse of a minor, sexual abuse of a minor as a continuing course of conduct and child abuse, court records said.

Berry was being held on an interstate detainer from Pennsylvania, although Washington County Assistant State’s Attorney Michele Hansen said she did not know what sentence he had been serving in that state.

The charges against Berry were filed by Hagerstown police in 2008, although the application for statement of charges said the allegations stem from incidents that occurred from 2002 to 2005, the charging document said.

In 2008, the victim, then a teenager, told investigators she was about 11 years old when she moved to a Hagerstown address in 2002, the charging document said. Berry, who was about 18 at the time, began molesting and sexually assaulting her, the document said.

The molestation continued until the girl was 14, the charging document said.

Berry was incarcerated in Franklin County (Pa.) Jail in 2003 for robbery, and again in 2005 on assault charges, according to jail records. The assault case resulted in a state prison sentence, jail records said.

Berry is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Aug. 15, district court records said. A conviction for child sexual abuse as a continuing course of conduct carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

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