WINFIELD, W.Va. -- After two teenage girls tearfully described how their lives had been turned upside down since being sexually assaulted by a Tornado man, a judge sentenced the man to up to 35 years in prison.
Timothy Scott Carter, 35, will serve 15 to 35 years in prison and 50 years on supervised release -- the maximum sentence -- after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to four counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of having child pornography.
Carter admitted seducing and having sex with two 13-year-old girls, and having explicit images of them on his phone.
"This is one of the most heinous crimes that has come before me," Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers said Thursday after hearing from Carter, the two victims and their family members. "You're a poster child of what drugs can do to a life."
Carter, who once was a chemical engineer at Dow Chemical and a Sunday school teacher, started using methamphetamine and his life spiraled out of control, his lawyer said.
"He was born to a good, supportive family, raised in the church, was a Boy Scout, got the best education available, had a wonderful wife and two children, a six-figure salary," John Mitchell Jr. told the judge. He promised his client would not be a repeat offender.
Mitchell told the judge that Carter had suffered enough already during the past 14 months in jail.
"He has lost his job, his wife, his eye, he's been assaulted a couple times in jail and now is in isolation," Mitchell said.
On Thursday, Carter sat handcuffed, with his hands folded together pressed against his lips in an orange jumpsuit with a black patch covering one eye. His ex-wife sat crying with her head in her hands.
Carter turned to the victims and their family members and offered an apology.
"I apologize to you young ladies that I've hurt and your families I've hurt. Words cannot express how sorry I am -- I have a son and daughter myself," Carter said. "I hope one day God can heal your wounds."
Carter told the judge he had reconnected with God and, while crying, said, "Jail is a hard, lonely, violent and cold place . . . I hope you'll have mercy on me, your honor."
Family members of the girls, now 15 years old, begged Stowers to give Carter the maximum sentence.
One victim's older sister stood before the judge and described her sister's trouble with relationships.