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Barbour man charged with sexual assault

February 1, 2014
By Katie Kuba - Upshur Bureau Chief , The Inter-Mountain

BELINGTON - A Belington man accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with a mentally disabled woman was arrested this week, police said.

Christopher Lynn Cunningham, 36, of 65 Dayton Boulevard, was charged with one felony count of third-degree sexual assault Monday. He allegedly had sex with a woman who is a "ward of the state" at his home on Sept. 17, 2013, according to the criminal complaint on file in the Barbour County Magistrate Clerk's Office.

Cunningham is currently free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

According to state code, third-degree sexual assault occurs when a person "unlawfully, intentionally, (sic) and feloniously," has sexual intercourse "with another person who is mentally

defective or mentally incapacitated."

The complaint states that on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, the alleged victim's caretaker told Sgt. J.A. Wyatt of the Philippi detachment of the West Virginia State Police that the alleged victim reported having sexual relations with Cunningham.

Cunningham initially denied the allegations, the complaint states.

However, on Jan. 22, during a formal interview, Cunningham allegedly confessed that he had sexual intercourse with the victim in his home. Cunningham went on to say that it occurred only once, "while other family members, including his wife, were in the residence," according to the complaint.

Cunningham's confession was digitally recorded and has been transcribed, the police report states.

The penalty for a conviction of third-degree sexual assault is confinement in a state penitentiary for one to five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

Contact Katie Kuba by email at kkuba@theintermountain.com. Follow her on Twitter at IMT_Kuba.

 
 

 

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