12 years in prison for abuse of girls, 6 and 8

Despite telling a judge that he had learned his lesson during two months of local incarceration, a Marietta Township man convicted of sexually abusing two children will be spending another 12 years in prison.

Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane handed down the sentence Friday to 48-year-old Wilburn E. Bever, of 378 Morris Loop Road.

Bever was arrested in June after two young relatives came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct beginning in late 2011.

The oldest girl, who was 8 at the time of abuse, described a “strange” scenario involving chocolate syrup, said Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings.

“We thought this is going to be difficult for a jury to believe. Then his computer is seized and in an email conversation the defendant describes exactly the same thing,” he said.

Bever admitted to inappropriate contact with the girls, the younger of whom was 6 at the time of the abuse, and seemed to be almost bragging about the incident described by the older girl, said Rings.

In addition, the man corresponding with Bever offered him advice on how to groom the girls for sexual intercourse if Bever would provide him photos of the encounters, he said.

The email correspondent has not been identified, said Rings.

Bever was initially charged with a first-degree felony charge of rape for the incident with the older girl. Though his actions could technically meet the definition of rape, no sexual intercourse occurred, said Rings.

Bever pleaded guilty in January to a second-degree felony count of sexual battery against the older girl and a third-degree felony count of gross sexual imposition against the younger.

Bever pleaded again Friday, this time for mercy.

“I regret allowing outside people to affect my decisions. Believe me when I say after eight weeks behind bars I have learned my lesson,” said Bever.

Bever referred to his ailing parents-his father blind and his mother fighting cancer-and said that he is the only one around to take care of them.

His parents, seated in the courtroom, silently wept throughout the sentencing.

“I temporarily lost my senses, my judgment, and made some mistakes. I’m begging you for mercy and compassion,” said Bever to Lane.

Neither Bever nor his attorney, Dennis Sipe, had specific sentencing requests.

Rings requested that whatever sentences Lane ordered be served consecutively because the offenses involved two separate victims and were therefore not allied.

“I ask for consecutive sentences that would assure these children are adults before he gets out,” said Rings.

Lane sentenced Bever consecutively, ordering the maximum five years on the third-degree felony and seven years on the second-degree felony, for a total of 12 years. It was one year shy of the maximum penalty.

In addition, Bever will be required to register as a tier three sex offender with a child victim and will be required to report every 90 days for the rest of his life, said Lane.