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Putnam child rapist gets 15-35 years

WINFIELD, W.Va. -- After two teenage girls tearfully described how their lives had been turned upside down since being sexually assaulted by a Tornado man, a judge sentenced the man to up to 35 years in prison.

Timothy Scott Carter, 35, will serve 15 to 35 years in prison and 50 years on supervised release -- the maximum sentence -- after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to four counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of having child pornography.

Carter admitted seducing and having sex with two 13-year-old girls, and having explicit images of them on his phone.

"This is one of the most heinous crimes that has come before me," Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers said Thursday after hearing from Carter, the two victims and their family members. "You're a poster child of what drugs can do to a life."

Carter, who once was a chemical engineer at Dow Chemical and a Sunday school teacher, started using methamphetamine and his life spiraled out of control, his lawyer said.

"He was born to a good, supportive family, raised in the church, was a Boy Scout, got the best education available, had a wonderful wife and two children, a six-figure salary," John Mitchell Jr. told the judge. He promised his client would not be a repeat offender.

Mitchell told the judge that Carter had suffered enough already during the past 14 months in jail.

"He has lost his job, his wife, his eye, he's been assaulted a couple times in jail and now is in isolation," Mitchell said.

On Thursday, Carter sat handcuffed, with his hands folded together pressed against his lips in an orange jumpsuit with a black patch covering one eye. His ex-wife sat crying with her head in her hands.

Carter turned to the victims and their family members and offered an apology.

"I apologize to you young ladies that I've hurt and your families I've hurt. Words cannot express how sorry I am -- I have a son and daughter myself," Carter said. "I hope one day God can heal your wounds."

Carter told the judge he had reconnected with God and, while crying, said, "Jail is a hard, lonely, violent and cold place . . . I hope you'll have mercy on me, your honor."

Family members of the girls, now 15 years old, begged Stowers to give Carter the maximum sentence.

One victim's older sister stood before the judge and described her sister's trouble with relationships.

"Her innocence can never be replaced," she said. "Please don't show mercy. Let [these girls] finish high school and make it through college and establish themselves in healthy relationships before he's released."

The other victim's tearful father also asked the judge for harsh punishment for Carter.

"I took an oath as a father and to myself that I'd defend my family, I'd die for my family and I'd kill for my family," he said. "I took another oath to defend my country -- to die for you," he said, pointing at Carter.

"You can't even fathom how your actions have affected them," the girl's father said. "Shortly after this happened, my daughter thought she saw you at Walmart. She became hysterical and had to leave."

The mother of a victim explained how Carter had groomed the girls for months after spotting them in their residential neighborhood. She said he asked to use one of the girl's cell phones.

"She blames herself for what you have caused her . . . she kept saying she's sorry, and it's not her fault," one victim's mother said.

Both of the teenage victims read statements they had prepared.

"I debated on whether I should say anything to you or not," one victim said, crying. "At times, I feel bad for you and, other times, I hate your guts.  . . . I pray for you on a nightly basis."

"I never told on you, Timmy," the other victim said. "You had explicit pictures of me and my friends on your phone."

Deputies found photographs of the two girls on Carter's phone, including five that showed one of the girls engaged in sexual conduct, according to a criminal complaint filed in Putnam County Magistrate Court.

The girls told police Carter picked them up together from a residence in Putnam County and drove them to a cemetery on Red House Hill, where the sexual activity took place, according to the complaint.

"How will I explain to my [future] husband that my sex partner was a 35-year-old man?" one of the victims said.

Carter also was indicted on various charges in Kanawha and Mason counties. In Kanawha County, he faced numerous methamphetamine charges and pleaded guilty to one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. The Mason County charges came from Carter taking one of the teenage girls across county lines.

Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.


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