Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 18, 2013

Mercer County man sentenced on sexual assault, abuse charges

PRINCETON — A Matoaka-area man was sentenced today in Mercer County Circuit Court on charges of sexual assault second degree and sexual abuse first-degree involving an 11-year-old girl who was under his care.

Wilbur Lee Hess Sr., 53, was brought for sentencing before Judge William Sadler. Hess pleaded guilty to the charges in early April.

Sadler sentenced Hess to 10 to 25 years on second-degree sexual assault. Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler said Hess would not be eligible for parole for 10 years. If Hess gets credit for good behavior, he will be released within 12-and-a-half years, Sitler said.

There was an indeterminate sentence of one to five years for first-degree sexual abuse. Sadler suspended this sentence, but Hess will serve five years probation for the sexual abuse charge after Hess serves the term for sexual assault.

Hess will be required to register with the West Virginia State Police as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

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