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Martinsburg man sentenced for sexually abusing boys he babysat

Christopher Michael Jensen will serve not less than 35 years in prison and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life

July 29, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • Jensen
Jensen

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A 21-year-old man who was sentenced on Monday for sexually abusing two boys while baby-sitting them will not see a parole board until he serves 35 years in prison, according to Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones.

Christopher Michael Jensen of Cheswick Drive in Martinsburg was ordered by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes to serve not less than 35 or more than 75 years in prison.

Wilkes also ordered Jensen to be placed on supervised release for 50 years upon being released from prison and to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

Jensen’s sentencing in Berkeley County Circuit Court came after the judge heard statements prepared by the boys’ parents.

Jensen, who declined to make a statement in court Monday, was found guilty in February of one count of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of sexual abuse.

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Wilkes ordered that the prison sentence for each conviction — 10 to 20 years for the abuse charges and 15 to 35 years for the assault — be served consecutively.

The jury seated for his trial found him not guilty of one count of first-degree sexual assault in the case.

The boys were 3 and 4 years old when the crimes occurred, and Jensen was 16, attorneys said.

The alleged sexual contact with the boys occurred in November 2007, but the children did not report what occurred until January 2012, attorneys have said.

The prosecution alleged in the case that Jensen was baby-sitting the boys when he individually assaulted them in the bathroom of their home after they were blindfolded, Jones has said.

At times overcome with emotion, the boys’ mother tearfully told the court that she had trusted Jensen to watch over her children in their parents’ absence.

She said her boys’ lives were forever changed after they were “preyed” upon by Jensen.

“How could he wound children so deeply with no remorse?” the boys’ mother said in prepared remarks, recounting the defendant’s apparent disposition in the courtroom during his trial.

In ordering the maximum sentence, Wilkes said he looked at the age difference between the victims and the defendant. He also cited the findings of an evaluation that found Jensen had impulse control issues and had not taken responsibility for his actions. 

“You may never be able to control those impulses,” Wilkes told Jensen.

Based on the evaluation’s findings, the judge said he also felt Jensen could increasingly be more dangerous the older he gets and would pose an “extreme risk” to young people.

The victims’ mother told the court that her boys don’t understand why they were targeted, but also noted that through this ordeal other children will be safe.

Prior to sentencing Jensen, Wilkes denied motions for acquittal and a new trial that were filed by public defenders Don Wrye and Carrie Lehman.

When asked by Wilkes, Jensen said he wished to retain the attorneys as his counsel for a possible appeal of the case.

Jensen was indicted by a grand jury in October 2012 on the four felony sex offenses.

The West Virginia State Police investigated the case.

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