Westminster man pleads guilty to child abuse

December 01, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

A Westminster man who repeatedly sat in the nude and fondled himself in front of his daughter since 1985 pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse yesterday.

Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr., who accepted the plea, gave the 49-year-old man a suspended two-year prison sentence and placed him on five years probation.

The judge also ordered the defendant to continue counseling, to have no contact with his daughter and to pay for his daughter's psychological counseling.

The defendant, his lawyer and an assistant state's attorney agreed to the sentence as part of a plea bargain. In return, the prosecutor dropped a perverted practice charge against the man.

Assistant State's Attorney Edward Ulsch said in a statement of facts that the defendant began abusing his then 10-year-old daughter in 1985 and didn't stop until May, when the girl turned 17.

While the girl was in the living room of the family's home, the man would walk in in the nude, sit down and begin fondling himself, Mr. Ulsch said.

"He exposed himself, nude, while she was watching TV and she could watch him masturbate," Mr. Ulsch said.

The man told a state trooper that he did that so his daughter "would not be curious about men," the prosecutor said.

Court records show that the daughter was traumatized by her father's behavior.

The man, whose name is being withheld to protect his daughter's identity, has been in counseling since May. He also moved out of the family's home after he was charged with the abuse, court records show.

The man apologized before Judge Beck imposed the sentence.

"I realize I have a problem, but at the time I didn't [realize it]," the defendant said. "My counselor has showed me a lot of things I have done wrong. I am trying to get my self straightened out and get back with my family."

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