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Huntingtown man gets 10 more years for sex abuse of minor

A Huntingtown inmate already serving a 10-year sentence for sex abuse of a minor, got an additional 10 year sentence added to his time for the same crime with the same victim, but for a separate offense.

The 46-year-old man who was charged for allegedly repeatedly having sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl who was in his custody at the time, apparently had researched state law on the Internet before he began having sexual relations with her. The man's attorney told the court, however, that his client had unfortunately misinterpreted the law.

While state law permits a 16-year-old to consent to vaginal intercourse, sexual contact or a sexual act, there are actually two exceptions to this rule: If the person is less than four years older than the victim or if the adult has temporary or permanent custody of the child. When this is the case, the victim has to be 18. It was the custody issue portion of the law that the man apparently misread.

Since the crime was committed in both the man's home and at Point Lookout State Park in St. Mary's, a judge in St. Mary's County Circuit Court ruled that the alleged crime in St Mary's was separate and distinct.

Since the man was already serving a 10-year sentence after pleading guilty to one count of a 14-count indictment for alleged sex abuse of a minor in the Calvert County Circuit Court, he now faces an additional 10 years to his sentence. This will include five years of probation upon his release and registration in the sex offender registry as a Tier 3 Registered Sex Offender for the remainder of his life.

Sex crimes, particularly those that are sex offenses with a minor, are serious. However, just because a defendant is charged and arrested does not mean he or she is automatically guilty. That must be proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt. Defendants have a right to a fair and unbiased trial, as well as an appeal of an unfavorable verdict.

Source: St. Mary's judge doubles man's sentence from Calvert, "The Baynet.com Calvert, St. Mary's and Charles County" Dick Myers, Jan. 14, 2014

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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013