BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Barbour man charged with sexual assault

BELINGTON – A Barbour County man is free on bond after being arrested for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Ronald C. Posten, 29, of Belington, was charged Friday with three felony counts of third-degree sexual assault, all of which allegedly occurred in July 2013 when the defendant was 28 and the alleged victim was 15, according to criminal complaints on file in the Barbour County Magistrate Clerk’s office.

Posten has been released from jail after posting a $15,000 surety bond, according to a spokesperson in the magistrate clerk’s office.

According to the criminal complaints, the alleged victim told Sgt. John Wyatt with the Philippi Detachment of the West Virginia State Police that on July 13, 2013; July 14, 2013; and July 17, 2013, Posten allegedly had sexual intercourse with her in her father’s home in Dartmoor while her father and stepmother were in Elkins. The complaint also states that when confronted with that information, Posten allegedly confessed that he had sex with the 15-year-old three times.

Barbour man charged with sexual assault

BELINGTON – A Belington man accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with a mentally disabled woman was arrested this week, police said.

Christopher Lynn Cunningham, 36, of 65 Dayton Boulevard, was charged with one felony count of third-degree sexual assault Monday. He allegedly had sex with a woman who is a “ward of the state” at his home on Sept. 17, 2013, according to the criminal complaint on file in the Barbour County Magistrate Clerk’s Office.

Cunningham is currently free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

According to state code, third-degree sexual assault occurs when a person “unlawfully, intentionally, (sic) and feloniously,” has sexual intercourse “with another person who is mentally

defective or mentally incapacitated.”

The complaint states that on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, the alleged victim’s caretaker told Sgt. J.A. Wyatt of the Philippi detachment of the West Virginia State Police that the alleged victim reported having sexual relations with Cunningham.

Cunningham initially denied the allegations, the complaint states.

However, on Jan. 22, during a formal interview, Cunningham allegedly confessed that he had sexual intercourse with the victim in his home. Cunningham went on to say that it occurred only once, “while other family members, including his wife, were in the residence,” according to the complaint.

Cunningham’s confession was digitally recorded and has been transcribed, the police report states.

The penalty for a conviction of third-degree sexual assault is confinement in a state penitentiary for one to five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

Contact Katie Kuba by email at kkuba@theintermountain.com. Follow her on Twitter at IMT_Kuba.