Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 11, 2014

Spaulding sentenced to 75 years in prison

PRINCETON —  A Montcalm man found guilty of multiple sexual assault and child pornography charges was sentenced to 75 years in prison Wednesday morning in Mercer County Circuit Court.

As Judge William Sadler sentenced John Spaulding, 41, he said, “Spaulding sees himself as a victim instead of an abuser.”

Calling this a case where society demanded justice, Sadler said Spaulding thought he was too smart or too charming to get caught.

Spaulding will not serve less than 25 years for each count of sexual assault and two years for the child pornography charges, which will be served continuously with the sexual assault sentence.

Spaulding was found guilty on April 3 on three charges of first-degree sexual assault and 50 charges of possession of child pornography. Jurors found him not guilty of three other sexual assault charges.

Spaulding’s case was heard before two juries. In February, three days of testimony ended in a mistrial when one of the jurors became ill. Sadler offered to allow the jury to go home and continue deliberations the next day, but the jurors determined they could not continue.

Two alternate jurors had been assigned, but one joined the jury during the trial after one of its members called in sick, and the second juror had been dismissed before deliberations began. Sadler checked West Virginia state law and could not find anything that would allow the court to recall an alternate juror after deliberations had started. Sadler then declared a mistrial. Spaulding’s second trial was held in April.

Attorney Harold B. Wolfe II, who represented Spaulding at both trials, said that he had been “set up” by Kimberly Cox, 38, of Nemours. Cox pleaded guilty to sexual assault first degree and sexual assault by a parent, guardian or custodian. She was sentenced in January and must serve 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole. She testified at both of Spaulding’s trials.

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