Sex abuse suspect faces two trials

Published 9:33 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

COURTLAND—Two trial dates have been set in Southampton County Circuit Court for a Suffolk man charged with 17 counts of sexually abusing minors.

Carlton Kearney, 37, faces three charges of aggravated sexual battery, three charges of animate object penetration, three charges of forcible sodomy, five charges of indecent liberties and three charges of carnal knowledge.

Kearney’s first trial date has been set for Thursday and the second for Aug. 13. Southampton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke will prosecute both cases.

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Police said Kearney knew both of his alleged victims, who are both females and were 12 and 13 years old at the time the incidents began in 1997. The abuse allegedly occurred intermittently through 2001 in the City of Franklin.

According to Franklin Police Lt. Tim Whitt, investigators were first alerted to the possibility of sexual abuse against the two girls in February 2007. Kearney was arrested and charged in June 2008, and additional charges were filed against him in July 2008.

The court appointed attorney Steven Plott of Portsmouth to represent Kearney at both trials.