Man gets 4-year sentence for sexual abuse of girl, 10

July 13, 2006|By GINA DAVIS | GINA DAVIS,SUN REPORTER

A Finksburg man was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison for sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl in a case that began when the child confided in a friend about what had happened but later recanted the accusations.

Gary Roger Chamberlin, 30, of the 2900 block of Old Westminster Pike was led away in handcuffs after the judge said he didn't believe family members who maintained that the girl made up the accusations in June 2005 because she was mad at Chamberlin.

Chamberlin was convicted in April of child sex abuse and second-degree assault. He was found innocent of four other charges, including second-degree rape and three counts of third-degree sexual offense.

FOR THE RECORD - In an article in the Maryland section yesterday, the name of the lawyer representing Gary Roger Chamberlin in a Carroll County case was incorrect. Chamberlin's lawyer is Stephen L. Freedman.
The Sun regrets the error.

"I'm satisfied of his guilt," said Carroll Circuit Judge Thomas F. Stansfield. "As I see it, it is possible ... that she concocted the entire story to get attention. But I find that difficult to believe."

Stansfield said it was more likely the child, now 11, had recanted because her family doubted her claims and "it makes her life very comfortable for her not to be on the outs with everyone around her. I think this child had precious little choice."

The judge sentenced Chamberlin to 15 years with all but four years suspended on the child sex abuse conviction and to 10 years, all of which was suspended, for assault.

In addition, Stansfield ordered Chamberlin to serve five years of supervised probation and to submit to a mental health evaluation and comply with treatment recommendations.

Chamberlin also must register as a sex offender upon his release and is barred from having unsupervised contact with the girl or any other girl younger than 16.

Chamberlin will be allowed to have regular contact with his 6-year-old son, the judge said.

Before the sentencing proceedings began, the judge denied Chamberlin's request for a new trial. Chamberlin's attorney, Michael A. Freedman, argued that because Chamberlin had been found innocent of accusations that involved fondling, exploitation and molestation, it was clear that the jury didn't believe Chamberlin had sexually abused the child and had made an error in convicting him.

Assistant State's Attorney Amy Blank Ocampo countered that it was plausible for jurors to find Chamberlin guilty of sex abuse but not be able to unanimously agree on the specific instances of abuse.

In addition, the state's attorney's office pointed to a previous conviction against Chamberlin on similar charges involving a 14-year-old girl in Virginia when Chamberlin was in the Navy.

Freedman said he planned to appeal because of the judge's denial of a new trial.

The Sun is not reporting some details of the case to protect the girl's identity. The Sun does not report the names of sex abuse victims.

Outside the courtroom, Chamberlin's tearful wife angrily objected to the judge's sentence.

"It's not right. We're all victims here," his wife said. "Regarding my husband, [the child's] story changed. She said she had lied. It wasn't that no one believed her. This is a serious matter."

gina.davis@baltsun.com

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