Advertisement

Man sentenced to 41-105 years in prison for sexually abusing teen girl

February 04, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A  49-year-old man was sentenced Monday in Berkeley County Circuit Court to between 41 and 105 years in prison for sexually abusing and assaulting a teenage girl between 2009 and 2010.

Melvin George Simms, who was ordered Monday by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life, was convicted of seven felony counts of sexual abuse and sexual assault at the culmination of a six-day jury trial in October.

Silver also ordered Simms to be placed on 30 years of supervised release following incarceration.

After reviewing a pre-sentence report and hearing statements in court, including one from the victim and the victim’s mother, Silver concluded that the public and young children would not be safe if Simms was granted probation.

The alleged contact between the girl and Simms occurred between 2009 and 2010 when the victim was 13 and 14 years old, according to court documents.

The victim had told authorities she was pregnant with the defendant’s child as a result of the alleged sexual contact, according to court documents.

In reviewing Simms pre-sentence report, Silver noted that West Virginia State Police Sgt. D.E. Boober informed the court that Simms was “one of the more despicable characters” that he had contact with in such a case and that the officer asked for the maximum sentence.

The victim also asked Silver to impose the maximum sentence. She told the judge that she has struggled to recover from what happened, doesn’t sleep and has no social life.

“In my opinion, I think he should die in jail for what he did,” the girl said.

Simms insisted throughout his sentencing hearing Monday that he wasn’t properly represented by his attorney and didn’t understand the possible outcome of the charges lodged against him.

He also told the court he was not a violent person and would never harm the victim or her family.

“I’m not a monster, your honor,” Simms said.

Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Carmela M. Cesare told the court that Simms had continuously refused to accept responsibility for his actions and had tried to gain the victim’s silence by threatening to have her sent away.

Upon being taken into custody following his trial, Simms was found in possession of his passport for Jamaica, Cesare said.

Simms, who told the court he was born in Jamaica, said he had no intention of ever leaving the U.S. for family reasons.

Simms’ last-minute motions Monday for new legal counsel and an appeal of the verdict were ruled untimely by Silver.

The judge noted the written motions indicated they had been prepared by a “friend” at Eastern Regional Jail.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|