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Child molester's 690-year prison term is just punishment for his 'reign of terror,' Pa. court says

Patriot-News - 3/20/2017

March 20--A convicted child molester who is serving a 339- to 690-year prison term deserves every second of his punishment for the horrors he inflicted on his four victims over more than two decades, a state Superior Court panel has concluded.

The judges made that call in a recent opinion by Judge Carl Solano rejecting Warren E. Yerger's claim that his sentence is excessive.

Solano also shot down the former Chester County man's claims that evidence of his cruelty to animals, as well as his abuse of the children, should not have been introduced during his December 2014 trial.

That trial ended with Yerger's conviction on 158 counts of molestation of both boys and girls that occurred from 1989 to 2012, when the victims finally reported it. Investigators said Yerger, now 54, abused the children himself and made them perform sex acts with each other. The youngest victim was 2 years old when the assaults began.

Police said Yerger, who accused his victims of lying, committed most of his crimes in Chester County, but that some also occurred in Berks, Montgomery and McKean counties.

In his failed appeal to the state court, Yerger argued that prosecutors at his trial should not have been allowed to present evidence of his abuse of animals. That unfairly prejudiced the jurors against him, he contended.

Solano found the introduction of the animal cruelty evidence was acceptable because it helped show why the victims were afraid to immediately report the molestation by Yerger. That evidence included claims that Yerger had shot and beaten dogs and kittens and had stomped a kitten to death.

As for the length of Yerger's prison term, Solano cited a statement county Judge William P. Mahon made in imposing it. "This is the worst case of child sexual abuse I've ever heard of," said Mahon, who also deemed Yerger to be a sexually violent predator, the most dangerous type of sex offender.

"The crimes committed by (Yerger) were horrific," Solano agreed. He wrote that Yerger saw his victims "as mere fodder for a relentless barrage of sexual and violent abuse -- a sickening 'reign of terror' -- that continued for 23 years, and who accepted no responsibility when the time came to face his punishment."

Convicted child molester can't keep suing his victim, Pa. court says

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(c)2017 The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)

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