Jury finds man guilty of sex abuse

May 05, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer

A 30-year-old Finksburg man is scheduled to be sentenced June 20 after being convicted of sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl.

Jury members deliberated for about 2 1/2 hours Friday and found James Scott Edmondson guilty of second-degree rape, attempted second-degree rape, four counts of second-degree sexual offenses, and two counts each of sexual child abuse and unlawful contact.

Edmondson, whose bail was revoked after the felony conviction, is in the Carroll County Detention Center. He could be sentenced to prison for up to 190 years when he faces Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. next month.

The girl -- whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy -- testified last Thursday that she was abused at least once between May and August last year and again on the night between Aug. 26 and Aug. 27.

Her nearly hourlong testimony -- which Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill said was crucial to the case -- was given tearfully and reluctantly after a prosecutor, the child's therapist and a victim-witness coordinator spent about 30 minutes encouraging her to take the stand.

Once seated, the girl gave a detailed description of what happened while shielding her face from the defendant with an open hand.

Court records and testimony said that, on one of those occasions, Edmondson attempted to have intercourse with the child.

Ms. Hill told the jury Thursday that the defendant had told investigators that the girl, then 7, had forced herself on him.

" 'What do you think aroused her, my hair or my eyes?' " Ms. Hill quoted Edmondson as saying.

His attorney, Elliot N. Lewis, had countered that no one "knows exactly what was said" during Edmondson's interviews with investigators.

He also said the child, who allegedly was also abused by another individual earlier in her life, may have a clouded memory.

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