Sex Offender To Seek Reduced Sentence

Westminster Man, 43, Received Five Years For Abusing Stepdaughter

July 10, 1991|By Maria Archangelo | Maria Archangelo,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — A 43-year-old city man convicted of sexually abusing his stepdaughter for 3 1/2 years is scheduled to ask a Carroll judge to reduce his five-year prison sentence this morning.

The man, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of his stepdaughter, pleaded guilty to child abuse in Carroll Circuit Court last November.

According to a statement of facts read at the trial, the man began abusing one of his wife's three daughters when she was in ninth grade in December 1982.

The family had recently moved to Carroll fromBaltimore County, court records showed.

The man "would constantlytalk about sex with (the victim)." He went to her room in the middleof the night and would fondle her, perform sexual acts on her, and take photographs of her, the records said.

The abuse continued until she was almost 18 and had started dating, court records show.

The man was arrested and charged with child abuse and one count of unnatural and perverted sexual practices in June 1990.

In August of that year, the Carroll State's Attorney's Office also issued information in the case charging the man with the crimes. The second charge -- unnatural and perverted sexual practices -- was dropped last Novemberwhen the man agreed to plead guilty to the child abuse charge.

Child abuse is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

In February, Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. sent the man to the state Department of Corrections to serve a five-year sentence. He originally sentenced the man to serve 10 years, but then suspended five years.

He also gave him five years' probation, to be served after his release from prison. As a condition of probation, Burns ordered him to pay for his stepdaughter's counseling sessions.

But in April, the man's attorney filed motion to have the man's sentence reduced.

As reasons for the reduction, Baltimore attorney Julian S. Brewer Jr. listed the man's accomplishments, including years of employment in the medical profession.

The attorney said his client sought counseling immediately after his arrest and is "not a dangerous or violent person." He added the man had financial obligations that made his imprisonment more onerous.

The Carroll State's Attorney's Office opposes any reduction or modification in the man's sentence, Senior Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill said.

"I don't think anything in the case has changed since sentencing," said Hill. "I think it's a fair sentence."

The abuse came to the attention of state police when the stepdaughter -- then an adult -- reported it in January 1990.

Police reports show that the man admitted the abuse when he was questioned about it by the state police.

The most recent case was not the first allegation of abuse against the man, court records show.

While the family was living in Baltimore County, the man was accused of sexually abusing another of his wife's daughters and was ordered to complete psychological counseling, court records show.

After the counseling was complete, the man moved back into the family home.

Burns is set to hear the case at 10 a.m. today.

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