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Mother testifies in sex abuse case

The mother of a 10-year-old victim in an alleged sexual abuse case testified Wednesday in Carroll County Circuit Court, giving insight on when she first learned of the abuse.

The mother testified that she wasn't aware of any sexual abuse occurring with her daughter until the girl approached her about it in May 2011 in their Sykesville home.

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On Tuesday, the victim testified that the alleged abuse occurred on a weekly basis for a three-year period.

The testimony came in the case against Sykesville man William Meldrium Howard IV, 33, of the 1900 block of Stillwater Road. Howard is charged with sexual abuse of a minor and sexual abuse of a minor as part of a continuing course of conduct.

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The mother was first made aware of the abuse claims in 2011, when the victim showed her a journal entry she wrote regarding one of the acts. She testified that there wasn't anything prior to seeing the journal that made her think her daughter was being sexually abused by Howard.

The victim testified Tuesday that the first she told anyone of the abuse came in the form of the journal entry; and that she decided to write it because the abuse had gone on long enough and she wanted it to stop.

Also Wednesday, Circuit Court Judge Barry J. Hughes ruled that only certain excerpts from a recorded phone call of Howard in May 2011 could be used as evidence, rather than the entire call. The jury did not hear the recording Wednesday.

Howard was charged in May 2011 after an investigation by the Carroll County Advocacy and Investigation Center.

According to court documents, the girl told investigators that Howard had performed sexual acts on her and forced her to perform sexual acts on him.

The case will continue today in Carroll County Circuit Court.

Editor's note: The Carroll County Times does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault.

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