Essex man convicted of abuse Granddaughter was molested HARFORD COUNTY

August 19, 1993|By Phyllis Brill | Phyllis Brill,Staff Writer

A 70-year-old Essex man was convicted yesterday of sexually abusing his granddaughter over a period of more than five years in her Harford County home.

A Harford Circuit Court jury of seven women and five men deliberated 3 1/2 hours before finding the man guilty of two counts of a third-degree sexual offense, and one count each of battery, assault and child abuse.

Judge Stephen M. Waldron revoked the defendant's bond, sending him to jail pending a pre-sentence investigation.

The man, whose name is not being divulged to protect the identity of the victim, faces 10 years each for the sexual offense convictions; 20 years each for battery and assault and 15 years for child abuse. One of the sexual offense convictions was for sexual contact with the girl when she was under 14; the other for sexual contact after age 14.

Under questioning by assistant state's attorney Diane Brooks, the girl, now 17, said that her grandfather had molested her on numerous occasions in her Joppatowne home, where he lived periodically with her family.

She said the abuse began when she was "very little" and continued past her 15th birthday.

The indictment charged that the man first abused his granddaughter in 1986, when she was 9.

The victim testified that her grandfather threatened to harm her mother or her dog if she told anyone about the sexual assaults. She said she finally told her mother in January 1992, a few days after watching an after-school television special on sexual abuse.

On cross-examination, Karen Jones, attorney for the defendant, attempted to discredit the victim by pointing out that she had given conflicting reports to police and the court about her age at the onset of the abuse.But jurors apparently agreed with Ms. Brooks, who said in her closing arguments: "Our memories don't work like video cameras."

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