Child sex abuse trial starts today


Having lost last week his bid to have separate trials to face each of his accusers, a Carroll County man charged with molesting a dozen children -- two of them his own -- is expected to go on trial today before a county jury.

The trial is expected to last at least a week, as prosecutors present what they describe as overwhelming evidence of repeated sexual abuse of the man's children and his friends' children over the past five years.

Many, perhaps all, of the man's accusers are expected to take the witness stand during the week.

The man -- who, through his previous attorney, strenuously denied the accusations against him -- has said little about his defense strategy.

His new lawyer, Stephen R. Tully of Baltimore, declined to comment last week.

His previous attorney, Colleen S. Clemente of Westminster, has said that some of the children may have made up the stories because they dislike the man.

County child abuse and sexual assault investigators have called the man, whose name and address are being withheld to protect his children's privacy, one of the worst pedophiles they have seen in Carroll.

If convicted on all counts, he could receive prison terms totaling more than 500 years.

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