Friday, October 3, 2008

Roger Scherner - Repeat Sex Offender - Victims span 3 generations

A 79-year-old California man who allegedly abused three generations of relatives was sentenced today to nearly 11 years in prison for molesting a young relative during a family vacation in Bellevue.

Roger Scherner was one of the first child-molestation suspects in the state whose case was handled under a new law that allows for past abuse allegations against a defendant to be admitted as evidence in a new case. In the past, a jury was not permitted to hear about an accused person's past criminal convictions or accusations.

Scherner was charged with molesting only one girl but was accused of molestation by at least nine women, spanning three generations. During Scherner's August trial, jurors heard from four women, three of them relatives, who said that Scherner had molested them as children.

The victim in the case resolved today was 7 when she was molested.

Scherner, of Carmel, Calif., was arrested and charged in 2003 after the girl, now 14, told her mother that Scherner molested her on a family vacation in Bellevue the previous year.

Scherner testified during the trial that he simply rebuffed the girl's request to share his bed, then admitted on the stand to molesting another young relative, who is now 29. The jury convicted him on three counts of first-degree child molestation.

In February, just before his trial was originally set to begin, Scherner jumped bail and fled to Florida with cash, golf clubs, disguises and a gun, according to court documents. U.S. marshals found him a week later.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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