A 53-year-old northeast Carroll county man was sentenced yesterday to eight years in state prison for sexually abusing three neighborhood children over four years.
Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. sentenced the defendant to 15 years for child abuse and eight years each for two counts of battery. The man's name is being withheld to protect the children's privacy.
His victims were two boys and a girl, court records show.
Judge Beck suspended all but eight years of the sentence and ordered the defendant to serve five years of supervised probation after his release from prison.
The man pleaded guilty March 16 to one count of child abuse and two counts of battery.
As a part of his plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop nine related charges against him.
According to court documents, the man would take the children shopping or to get something to eat and then take them home to his bedroom, where he would force them to perform sex acts. On at least one occasion, the man had intercourse with one of the victims.
In a statement to state police, the man said that he didn't want to "drag the kids through" a court appearance "because you are going to put me in jail, so it doesn't matter."
He told police that he, too, was abused as a child.
"Well, I came through the Baltimore City welfare department," he told state police Tfc. Robert Lipsky. "I was 5 1/2 years old and I was with kids of 18, girls and boys, and they make you do everything down there."
The man's victims are now 5 to 13 years old. The abuse began with the older children in 1988, court documents said.
The man was arrested in October after one of the children reported the abuse to police.