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Videos show sexual abuse of children, police say

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Charleston man jailed in connection to sexual abuse and possession of child pornography was charged again Wednesday when police said they uncovered 14 new videos of him sexually abusing children.

Clay Culhane Counts, 50, of 1975 Longmeadow Drive, is currently being held in South Central Regional Jail after being arrested in September.

Members of the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation found pornographic images on computer hard drives at Counts' home and arrested him on Sept. 21, Capt. Bryan Robbins said. Officers also learned that two 14-year-olds who had stayed at Counts' house allegedly had been molested.

Robbins said Counts touched one of the youths on more than one occasion and had one of the children touch him on more than one occasion.

Counts was charged with possession of material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, first-degree sexual abuse and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian.

During the investigation, deputies found an additional 14 videos of Counts performing sexual acts on children recorded inside Counts' bedroom and bathroom, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

The videos were apparently recorded from 2008 to 2011 with at least three victims under 14 years old, Kanawha Sheriff's Detective D.A. Scurlock said in the complaint. The children were allegedly in Counts' care at the time.

Deputies interviewed one of the victims, who allegedly was only 10 when the sexual abuse occurred, according to the complaint.

Counts was charged Wednesday with 14 counts of first-degree sexual assault, procuring, authorizing or inducing another person to engage in sexual exploitation of a child and use of minors in filming sexually explicit conduct, all felonies.

Counts was arraigned from jail via video conference in Kanawha County Magistrate Court Wednesday night. His bail was raised from $50,000 to $100,000, cash only. If convicted of the sexual assault charges, Counts faces up to 100 years in prison.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.

 


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