A Morgantown man who pleaded guilty of sexual assault and burglary was sentenced today in Monongalia County Circuit Court.
Gerald Thomas McCarthy, 58, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Cindy Scott to three consecutive 1-to-5-year sentences and a 1-to-15-year sentence. He previously pled guilty to three counts of sexual assault in the third degree and one count of burglary after being arrested for sexually assaulting a teen relative’s 15-year-old friend more than 20 times between October and December 2020.
One of these encounters included an incident where McCarthy entered the victim’s home and hid in a closet while she and her family were not home, according to court documents. When the victim got home, they had sex while the victim’s family was also in the house. They were unaware of McCarthy’s presence in their home.
McCarthy, who appeared via video conference from North Central Regional Jail, made a statement to the court, speaking of remorse, apologizing to the victim and her family and acknowledging the pain he caused his own family as well. “I never thought I would make this decision,” he said. “I made so many victims.”
Court-appointed defense attorney Matthew Brock, told the court McCarthy was not asking for an alternative sentence; however, he asked that his sentences run concurrently, or at the same time, as opposed to running consecutively, or one after the other.
Brock said the request was partly based on the fact that a sexual offender evaluation report found McCarthy to be a low-risk and an appropriate candidate to be released into the community. He added that should the concurrent sentencing be granted, McCarthy would seek counseling and intended to live in Marion County, away from the victim and her family.
Prosecuting attorney Perri Jo DeChristopher addressed the court on behalf of the state and the victims. She said the state asks that McCarthy be given consecutive sentences to reflect the seriousness of this crime.
DeChristopher said the victim and her family were no longer comfortable in their own home after knowing he assaulted the girl there, while they slept on the other side of the house. DeChristopher also said a statement from the victim’s mother said the text messages she found on her daughter’s phone from McCarthy were “vile, aggressive and violent.”
After denying his request for concurrent sentences and delivering her sentence, Judge Scott said she believed McCarthy went to “extreme measures” to have sex with the teen and used his position of trust to abuse the victim in an “intimate and damaging manner.” She told him he was responsible for his own actions and should look at what he needed to work on during his confinement.