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Highland Home man convicted of child sex abuse

A Highland Home man has been convicted of sexual abuse of a child under 12 years old.

After a two-day trial this week, a jury found Charles Curtis Hart, 61, guilty of sodomy first degree, sexual abuse first degree and sexual abuse of a child under 12.

Hart was acquitted of sexual abuse first degree and sexual abuse of a child under 12. The charges involved a second victim, also under 12.

Both of the children testified during the trial. Hart also took the stand on his own behalf.

“He was originally charged on February 27, 2014. The indictments covered the time period of May 2013 – December 2013,” said District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer. “One of the victims told her mother what he had been doing to her after she attended a ‘good touch, bad touch’ class at school.”

Sentencing is set for Tuesday, June 2.

According to Alabama law, sodomy first degree is a class A felony. “Normally, the sentencing range would be 10 years to 99 years or life. However, since the victim was under the age of 12, the minimum is 20 years,” Tesmer said.

Sexual abuse of a child is a class B felony. “Normally, the sentencing range would be two years to 20 years. However, since the victim was under the age of 12, the minimum is 10 years,” added Tesmer.

Sexual abuse first degree is a class C felony. The punishment range is one year and one day to 10 years.