A Westminster man was sentenced to 10 years in prison with four years suspended Thursday for sexually abusing a now-13-year-old girl over a 4-year period.
Andrew McCallister Lermond, 43, of the 800 block of Wisteria Drive, pleaded not guilty but agreed not to challenge the state's version of the facts to one count of sex abuse of a minor on March 23, according to Senior Assistant State's Attorney Amy Blank Ocampo.
An investigation began in 2014 after the victim, who was 12 at the time, wrote a letter to her parents disclosing the abuse, according to Ocampo. The victim said Lermond began abusing her when she was 6 or 7 years old and continued until she was 10.
"We are here because she made the decisions as a brave child to come forward," Ocampo said. "I can't imagine what it was like for her parents to get that letter."
Defense attorney Kathi Hill told Judge Fred S. Hecker that Lermond suffered from depression for most of his life and though his actions were "wrong in every conceivable way," he is truly remorseful.
"Our lives have been destroyed and damaged enough," she said.
Lermond's father, William Lermond, told Hecker his son was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and doctors said he might never walk or talk.
Though Andrew Lermond had some learning issues, including dyslexia, he eventually became a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in Montgomery County, then got a nursing degree and worked in hospice care.
"Not bad for a boy who might not learn to walk or talk," he said.
Hecker told Andrew Lermond he was a contradiction because he has clearly done good things and helped people in his life but also "inflicted unimaginable harm" by his actions.
"You, by virtue of your background and training, are a healer," Hecker said.
Lermond told Hecker he knows the harm to the victim and others involved in the case can never be undone.
Lermond will register as a sex offender when he is released and will be placed on five years of supervised probation. The terms of his probation will prohibit him from having contact with juveniles younger than 13 and unsupervised contact with juveniles ages 13 to 16, excluding his own child. He was also ordered not to have contact with the victim.
Editor's note: The Carroll County Times does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault.