State’s Attorney Tony Covington commenting on the case said, “Great job Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Freeman. She had to try this case 3 times! She kept the faith that justice would eventually prevail. And thanks to her indefatigable efforts, it finally did. Also, my thanks to the victim and her family for their patience and determination to see this through to the end. It wasn’t easy to speak out about the horrific abuse suffered at the hands of this defendant. Nor was it easy to endure almost 2 years of court proceedings. Much admiration for this courageous young woman. Remember, less than 20% of sexual assaults are reported. If you, or someone you know, is suffering in silence, there is help. For information, please call our Victim Witness Assistance Unit at 301-932-3360.”
La Plata, MD – After two previous mistrials, a Charles County jury has found a New Carrolton man guilty of child sexual abuse.
Donald McCoy Stancell, 39, was convicted after a two day trial in which the jurors were presented with testimony from the victim, her mother and several expert witnesses.
Charles County State’s Attorney Sarah Freeman called the victim to the stand and the now 19 year old told jurors about sexual abuse she suffered for nearly three years from her step-father. She told the jury the abuse started when she was around 14 years old but she didn’t report it until November of 2015 when she was 17 years old.
The victim testified that Stancell would barter with her in exchange for sexual favors, including the purchase of clothes and make-up as well as the use of her cell phone. She told the court the two had sex in several places in their Waldorf home, as well as in his vehicle.
The abuse came to light when the victim, a student at McDonough High School, was questioned about bruising on her leg. She told a counselor at the school it was caused by Stancell. She later admitted he did not cause the bruising but he had been sexually abusing her.
After the sex abuse was reported, the victim was taken to Charles County Regional Medical Center where she underwent a physical examination by a forensic nurse.
Charles County police searched the victim’s home to collect evidence, including underwear the victim had been wearing two days earlier when Stancell forced her to have sex with him in exchange for phone privileges.
When detectives interviewed the victim, she also described several scars on or near Stancell’s genital area and the jury was shown those scars. Freeman said to the jury, “no child should have that knowledge of scars on her step-father’s genital region.”
The victim’s mother, who is now divorced from Stancell, also testified during the trial and admitted to having problems with her daughter, including several attempts to run away from home, getting high and threats of suicide. She told the court her husband said to her on the phone, “he should have known better, he was the adult.” During cross-examination Stancell’s defense attorney, Thomas Mooney, questioned whether that was an admission of guilt.
During day two of the trial, evidence was presented by Julie Kempton, a forensic scientist at the Maryland State Police crime lab. She testified that she tested the underwear that was collected at the victim’s house and found both female and male DNA. Kempton also testified that the sample tested matched Stancell’s DNA profile and the evidence was consistent with a man who has had a vasectomy, which Stancell is confirmed to have had. The DNA profile concluded that Stancell could not be excluded from results.
The only two other males in the household with the same male DNA were the victim’s younger brothers who were just seven and nine years old when the investigation was taking place.
The jury took less than 15 minutes to deliberate the case before returning the guilty verdict. Stancell was taken into custody and is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 20, 2018.
Stancell is scheduled to stand trial on Feb. 26, 2018 on seven counts of possession of child pornography.
Originally posted on The Baynet: