WINFIELD, W.Va. -- A Pliny man who police say forced a 14-year-old relative to have sex with him for three years was among 44 people indicted by a Putnam County grand jury on Wednesday.
Michael T. Crist, 46, is charged with sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust; second-degree sexual assault; use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor, incest, daytime burglary, child abuse causing injury and domestic battery.
Last August, police say Crist, a former substitute custodian for Putnam County Schools, hit the teenager, pulled her hair and spit snuff in her face, according to a criminal complaint.
The girl told police she ran to a neighbor's house and hid in a bedroom closet. Police talked to the neighbor, who said the girl told her to "call 911, my dad is trying to kill me," the complaint states.
The neighbor told police she gave the girl her phone and locked the front door. According to the complaint, Crist kicked the neighbor's front door until its frame broke, then found the girl hiding in the closet and pulled her out.
When Crist saw the deputy arrive, he allegedly told the girl, "If you talk to them I'll break your [expletive] neck."
A week later, after Crist was arrested on child abuse charges, the teenager told staff at CAMC Women and Children's Hospital that the abuse began about a month after her 11th birthday, according to a criminal complaint.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt; it just means that a grand jury believes enough evidence of a crime exists to warrant a jury trial.
In a separate indictment, Donald K. Springsteadah, 46, of Eleanor, who used to manage the Pink Pony strip club in Cross Lanes, was charged with two counts of use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor, sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust and 13 counts of possession of material visually portraying a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Police say Springsteadah abused his girlfriend's juvenile relative and the relative's juvenile friend, according to a criminal complaint. On Jan. 27, 2011, Eleanor police received information from state Child Protective Services about a complaint that Springsteadah was having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl and a friend who had stayed the night, according to the complaint.
When police interviewed Springsteadah and the juveniles, they denied the sexual abuse claims, the complaint states. However, police say the next day the juvenile who had spent the night at Springsteadah's house said Springsteadah had told both girls to "kiss him on the lips," and showed them pornographic images on television before masturbating in front of them.
The complaint states that Springsteadah sent a text message that night asking his girlfriend's relative not to tell what had happened.
On Jan. 31, 2011, police seized three cellphones, two computers, cameras, and other items from Springsteadah's home and sent them to the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation, the complaint states.
After analyzing the phone, police say in the complaint, the dialogue the juvenile friend described was true, and messages were found discussing masturbation and kissing, among other things.
Police also say they recovered a recorded phone conversation from May between the two juvenile girls discussing what happened that night, and, among other things, that the juvenile relative of Springsteadah's girlfriend told her friend "she wouldn't get pregnant by the defendant because he promised her she wouldn't," according to the complaint.