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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Man sentenced for molesting niece,5

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Belle man will serve three years on probation and 10 years more on supervision for sexually molesting his five-year-old niece.

Johnny Allen Derrix Jr., 20, told Kanawha Circuit Court Judge Paul Zakaib Monday, "I'm sorry for what I done."

The victim's mother, who is Derrix's half sister, told the judge she didn't want to see the man go to prison but thought time at a correctional center for youthful offenders that included treatment would be appropriate.

"Everybody is a loser in this situation," she said. "But I don't want my brother to go to prison."

Zakaib did order Derrix to undergo outpatient treatment for sexual offenders, although he said a pre-sentence investigation by the probation department indicated he was a low risk for another offense.

"He has no criminal history prior to this," Zakaib said at Derrix's sentencing hearing. "Normally I'm pretty harsh on this type of sentence.

"But because of his character and the circumstances, I'm going to sentence him to probation."

Derrix's court-appointed defense attorney, Barbara Brown, told the judge her client had admitted his guilt and was remorseful.

"He was 18 at the time of the offense -- he was in high school," Brown said. "He was in special education classes and he has a borderline IQ. So he may not have the skills to express his remorse for what he did.

"What I think is key is his concern for the little girl," Brown told Zakaib. "He told a psychologist he was ashamed and embarrassed for what he did."

Derrix was charged with first-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian, both felonies. State Police took him into custody in October 2007 after the girl's mother filed a complaint.

He pleaded guilty in September, admitting he forced the girl to perform several sex acts, including oral sex on him.

In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to stand silent at his sentencing and not request a specific sentence.

As part of his probation, Derrix is not allowed to reside with or have any relationship with any minor children. He cannot conduct any business within 1,000 feet of any residence with minor children and can possess no photographic, video or computer images of minor children.

Kanawha Circuit judges have varied widely in handing out sentences recently to convicted sexual abusers:

* In December 2008, Judge Jennifer Bailey sentenced William Ivan Murphy, 31, to 30 to 90 years in prison for sexually abusing his 7-year-old niece.

* In June, Judge Tod Kaufman sentenced Christopher Lee Proctor, 26, of Rand to 15 to 45 years in prison for sexually abusing his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.

* In September, Judge Louis "Duke" Bloom sent former Capital High computer technician Casey Casto, 24, to prison for 11 to 25 years for having sex with a 15-year-old student.

* Last month, Zakaib sentenced James Ellis Spuduck, 34, of Nitro to 10 to 20 years in prison for molesting an 8-year-old girl.


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