Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Man Gets Multiple Life Sentences In Child Sex Abuse Case
A 60-year old man, who was called Pop-Pop by the children in the household, because he was like a grandfather to them, received two life sentences, and four 20-year sentences, for sexual abuse of those same children.
William Roger Clough, Jr. was found guilty in Accomack County Circuit Court in March under a plea agreement, in which he agreed to plead guilty to 4 counts of aggravated sexual battery, one count of forcible sodomy, and one count of object sexual penetration, in exchange for the Commonwealth not pursuing six other similar charges.
Referring to the charges and convictions, defense attorney Patrick Robbins told Judge W. Revell Lewis III, There is no way to sugar coat this, and presented Mr. Clough's minimal education and lack of criminal history, before asking Judge Lewis to sentence Mr. Clough with in the guidelines of 10-20 years.
Deputy Commonwealths Attorney Matthew Brenner, didn't mince words in describing Mr. Clough's actions as crimes of the most reprehensible nature. There is not just one child victim, he continued, there are four. Mr. Brenner noted the tender ages of the four victims, who were 4, 6, 7, and 11 at the time of the offenses, and are all related to Mr. Clough. He went on to say that the children viewed him as a grandfather, and he abused that trust by hurting them physically, and inflicting damage to their psyches that will take many years to mend. He used threats to physically harm them, and in one case told the four-year-old he would kill her mother if she told.
Mr. Brenner said that Mr. Clough deserved the maximum sentence for each crime, and Judge Lewis agreed, stating that grandfathers are supposed to protect children, and the fact that he was a family member made these crimes even worse. He also noted, however, that the system worked, because one of the children told a teacher, who reported it, which led to social services launching an investigation that uncovered the abuse.
Mr. Clough was remanded to jail to await transport to the state penitentiary to begin serving his sentence.