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Judge denies lighter sentence in child abuse case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A judge would not consider a lighter prison sentence for a Charleston man convicted last year of sexually abusing his stepdaughter.

Kanawha County Judge Tod Kaufman upheld a 10-to-20-year prison sentence Thursday for William Dale Clere.

Clere, 34, pleaded guilty last year to sexual abuse by a parent or guardian. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop two child abuse counts and an additional sexual abuse count.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, Clere sexually abused his stepdaughter several times. Prosecutors also said that Clere abused two other children in the house.

He threw a full can of soda at his stepson, striking him in the eye. To hide the bruise, he told others that the boy got into a fight at school, the complaint states.

Prosecutors said he also tried to force his stepchildren to eat feces out of the toilet.

Clere asked the judge Thursday to place him on home confinement.

"I promise to you and to everyone in the courtroom that I'll never do anything like this again," Clere said. 

Prosecutors opposed a lightened sentence, and accused Clere of characterizing the abuse as a single "impulse event". Reach Zac Taylor at zachary.taylor@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.


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