A 51-year-old Westminster man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, with another eight years suspended, for his June conviction on charges of sexually abusing four children in his former neighborhood.
Walter John Boraten, formerly of the 1700 block of Strand Ave., was sentenced Friday in Carroll Circuit Court to a total of 28 years -- two consecutive 10-year terms on child abuse counts and two consecutive four-year terms on two counts of attempted second-degree sexual offense.
Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. suspended a total of eight years on Boraten's terms for child abuse and ordered him to serve five years of supervised probation after his release.
The judge also ordered Boraten to stay away from anyone younger than 18 and to pay $5,000 restitution toward the cost of psychological therapy for two of his victims.
"You have made adults of these children," Judge Beck said, after noting that most people look back on their childhood as the best years of their lives. "You have deprived these four young ladies of that opportunity. Your apology is not enough."
Boraten and his brother, Joseph Emory Boraten, have been convicted of molesting a total of six neighborhood children -- ages 5 to 15 -- over a five-year period. Many of the incidents occurred in their home.
Both brothers -- each of whom denied knowledge of the other's actions -- were charged with showing the children sexually explicit films and magazines, forcing them to fondle themselves and forcing them to perform sex acts.
Two of the six children said they were abused by both men.
Joseph Boraten, 49, pleaded guilty to his charges July 6 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 15.
Both brothers are illiterate.
"He [Walter Boraten] just didn't know how to act in this situation," his court-appointed attorney, Richard O'Connor, said in court Friday, contending that the defendant, who lived with his mother all his life, has had limited social experience.
"He didn't know that what he was doing would have these consequences," Mr. O'Connor said.
Boraten has been living with other family members for about a year, away from the neighborhood where the abuse occurred.
In the plea agreement he accepted last month, Walter Boraten pleaded guilty to the four charges in exchange for prosecutors dropping six other charges.
Assistant State's Attorney Tracy A. Gilmore, who had agreed in June to seek a sentence of no more than 16 years, said, "We are very pleased with the sentence. We feel the sentence was very appropriate."