A man has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for molesting a 7-year-old girl.
The molester, James William Mabe, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley in the wake of his conviction earlier this year on lesser charges of attempted rape of a child. He had originally been charged with child rape, a crime that carries 25 to 40 years in prison without chance of parole. However, his conviction on the lesser charge allows him both a lesser sentence of 22 years and the possibility of parole since he was sentenced as a Range-One offender due to his minor criminal record.
Jurors returned with the guilty verdicts against Mabe in March after a two-day trial in which they heard testimony from the young victim. The child used a drawing to point to where Mabe had touched her. She circled the midsection of the drawing to indicate Mabe had touched her private areas.
Jurors learned the molestations happened while other people were in the same room as the victim and assailant. Specifically, prosecutors proved Mabe used a blanket to cover them while he touched her inappropriately. The incidents happened in a bed where other people were napping and in a chair where he was watching cartoons with the child as other people walked through the room.
It was revealed during trial the girl had tried to tell her mother but was not believed. She did, however, confide in her younger brother who eventually mentioned the incidents to an adult.
The victim was then interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center where she told the story of what had happened to her at the hands of Mabe.
“It had been weighing heavy on her mind,” said McMinnville police detective Todd Rowland of her coming forward. “She was ready to tell someone about it.”
Rowland pointed out the case would not have been possible without the courage of the young victim. The detective said talking is the key to ending the ongoing nightmare for victims of sexual predators.
“Tell somebody,” Rowland said. “Tell someone and let us help you.”