WESTMINSTER — Saying Clarence Yinger was responsible for "the worst case of child molestation" in county history, a Carroll judge refused last week to reduce his 38-year prison sentence for assaulting adolescent boys.
In 1989, the ex-president of the Gamber Volunteer Fire Company, was sentenced to 88 years in prison with 50 years suspended.
With several of his former victims present in the front row, Yinger went before Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. Wednesday to ask that his sentence be reduced.
The 41-year-old Yinger pleaded guilty in April 1989 to sex offenses involving eight male members of the JuniorFirefighters program between 1979 and 1988. The victims were 11 to 16 years old.
Jeff Gray, a Monkton attorney representing Yinger, told Burns that while his client was remorseful for his actions when hewas sentenced in September 1989, Yinger's experiences at the RoxburyCorrectional Institution in Hagerstown have made him truly understand their seriousness.
"Now his remorse is genuine," Gray said. "It's not based on sadness for what was going to happen to him, but for the people he hurt."
Yinger was sent to Roxbury after he fought another inmate at the Diagnostic and Classification Center in Baltimore,Gray said. Burns sent Yinger to the center so he could receive treatment at the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorders Clinic. At Roxbury, Gray said, Yinger cannot receive any treatment.
At Yinger's sentencing hearing, Dr. Fred Berlin of the clinic testified that Yinger is a homosexual pedophile.
Gray said his client knows he has a sexual problem. But while in jail, Yinger "has been offered many opportunities for homosexual contact and has not only refused them, but he ran from them," the attorney said.
Gray asked Burns to take a chance on Yinger by moving him to the Carroll County Detention Center and placing him on work release "so the court can test him under tight controls."
Yinger told the judge he is sorry for the problems he has caused his victims, his family and himself.
"My entire life I never reallyintended to hurt anyone," he said.
But Assistant State's AttorneyKathi Hill said Yinger knew he was hurting the young men when he forced them to let him perform oral sex on them because he was arrested on similar charges in 1972. Those charges, filed in Carroll Circuit Court, were dropped when Yinger agreed to seek psychiatric help.
"He says he's been able to run from homosexual advances," said Hill. "But his victims never had a chance to run."
Hill urged the judge tokeep Yinger in prison as part of the healing process for his victims.
Before handing down his decision, Burns said he previously gave Yinger a break when he sent him to the Diagnostic Center to continue treatment.
The judge said he told Gray and Yinger at sentencing that he would modify Yinger's sentence if he stayed in treatment for five years and successfully completed the Hopkins program.
Burns said that to modify Yinger's sentence now, he would have to "roll the dice."
"I don't feel comfortable rolling the dice now," the judge said. "Nothing has changed as far as I'm concerned. He is still a homosexual pedophile."