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Trials set for 3 Carroll County court cases involving child abuse

Whether three Carroll County residents are guilty of allegations of child abuse in separate court cases is planned to be determined in trials scheduled for this winter, after delays related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trials and other nonemergency court matters have been on hold since Maryland courts closed to the public in March due to the pandemic. Jury trials cannot be held until October, as ordered by the chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. The jury selection process does not bode well for social distancing, as it involves many people being in one courtroom at the same time.

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When trials do begin again, there are three more notable cases to look out for.

William P. Gould, 52, of Westminster faces two counts each of sex abuse of a minor and sex abuse of a minor in a continuing course of conduct, online court records show. His jury trial was scheduled on July 30 for Jan. 11 to 14 — nearly a year after he was criminally indicted. He was released Jan. 29 on the conditions of home confinement and no contact, then recommitted Feb. 7 after a bail review hearing.

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Court documents allege Gould sexually abused two victims from the time when they were about 5 years old to the age of 10. Gould abused one victim from 2000 to 2004 and the other from 2010 until 2015, both in Finksburg, according to court documents. The abuse of each victim was ongoing, the documents state — one victim said the abuse occurred almost every night.

Krista Johnson, 25, of Westminster was charged with first-degree child abuse: severe physical injury, second-degree child abuse and neglect of minor. Her bench trial, in which a judge rather than a jury decides her fate, was scheduled July 16 for Dec. 7 to 11. She was released on $50,000 bond Jan. 15, 2019.

Johnson was indicted by a grand jury Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, and was arrested the next day.

On Aug. 15, 2018, emergency personnel transported Johnson’s 6-month-old son to Carroll Hospital after Jared M. McAbee, 25, of Hanover, Pennsylvania, reported that the child was “limp” and “unresponsive,” according to charging documents and a news release from the Office of the Carroll County State’s Attorney. A CAT scan was performed and revealed several areas of bleeding in the brain. A helicopter took the child to Johns Hopkins Hospital.

McAbee was sentenced Sept. 27, 2019, to 25 years of incarceration for first-degree child abuse, related to the case.

The Carroll County Advocacy and Investigation Center first began investigating the alleged abuse on Aug. 9, 2018, when an investigator responded to Carroll Hospital after injuries to the child caused concern among emergency department staff over possible abuse, according to charging documents for McAbee’s case.

On Aug. 14, 2018, Child Protective Services investigators asked both McAbee and Johnson to sign a “safety plan” stating that neither would be left unsupervised with the child, charging documents read. Investigators determined that the child had been left alone with McAbee, contrary to the safety plan, after the child was taken to the hospital again Aug. 15, charging documents state.

The morning of Aug. 15, McAbee said the child would not stop crying after being bottle fed. He sat the child on his leg and began burping the child, he said, but as the child continued to cry, he became frustrated and began to hit the child repeatedly on the back with his hand, according to charging documents.

And Jose I. Rosales, 37, was charged with sex abuse of a minor in a continuing course of conduct; second-degree rape and two counts related to sex abuse of a minor, online court records indicate. His jury trial was scheduled July 15 for Jan. 11 to 15.

Rosales was criminally indicted Sept. 26, 2019, and he is being held without bond.

A woman found Rosales in bed with the victim and appeared to be touching the victim’s private area, according to charging documents. The woman told police that Rosales had been sexually abusing the victim since May 2018, charging documents state. When an investigator asked the victim how often the abuse occurred with Rosales, she allegedly said about 110 times.

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