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Judge won't shorten sentence for man convicted of sexual abuse

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A judge has refused to shorten the sentence of a man convicted of the sexual abuse of a stepdaughter and charged in the abuse of two others he lived with.

The acts of William Dale Clere, 34, of Roosevelt Avenue came to the attention of police. They called the allegations "disturbing."

In July, he admitted to the sexual abuse of the 15-year-old daughter of his girlfriend when he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison by Kanawha Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman.

Prosecutors dismissed the other charges that involved the girl's younger siblings. Those charges included various sexual offenses, pushing a 10-year-old into traffic, twisting the genitals of a young boy, threatening the children with a knife and telling them to eat feces out of a toilet.

Parental rights of the mother were terminated and all three children are in the custody of a grandmother. She said she was relieved that Clere won't be leaving prison so soon.

"I'm glad they did not let him out," she said. "My grandchildren have suffered enough. We've been going through this now for almost two years.

"I'm finally getting them on track and want to keep it that way," she said.

The 15-year-old victim came to Thursday's court hearing prepared to speak, as she did at Clere's sentencing. At that time she begged Kaufman to put the man behind bars for as long as he could.

She was not asked to come forward this time, but Assistant Prosecutor Tera Salango said, "She has missed yet another day of school to come here and face him. She just needs to put this behind her."

Clere apologized for abusing the girl.

He said, "I'm sorry for what happened. I will never do anything like this again. I'm sorry for my stepdaughter back there, her mother and her grandmother. I made a bad decision."

Salango reminded the judge that it wasn't just one lapse in judgment, however. 

"He pleaded guilty to one count, but there was not just one incident," she said. "And there was abuse of the other children."

She opposed any reduction in Clere's sentence.

Clere will have to serve an additional 20 years upon his release in extended court supervision and will register for life as a sexual offender.

Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at or 304-348-4832. Follow her at


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