By Carol Robinson | [email protected]
A 72-year-old man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to 32 crimes involving the repeated sex abuse of young girl.
Herbert Writesman in September entered his guilty pleas in Blount County in September. He pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree rape, four counts of first-degree sodomy, two counts of second-degree sodomy, two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, and 16 counts of enticing a child to enter any place for immoral purposes.
The Hayden man was arrested on the charges in 2017. According to court documents, the sexual abuse began in 2006 when Writesman’s victim was just 6 years old and occurred on at least 16 different occasions. Writesman has remained in the Blount County Jail on $700,000 since his arrest.
Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey said Writesman enter a blind plea, which leaves the sentencing decision up to the judge. Prosecutors on Wednesday argued that Writesman’s age should play no role in sentencing, and instead the court should look at the type of crime and length of the offense. The state asked for 50 years on each of the Class A felonies, 20 years of each of the Class B felonies and 10 years on each of the Class C felonies. Casey said they also asked that the sentences run consecutively.
Blount County Circuit Court Judge Steven King sentenced Writesman to 30 years on each of the eight Class A felonies, 20 years on each of the four Class B felony felonies, 10 years each of the 16 Class C felonies and one year to each for the two Class A misdemeanors. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.
King also fined Writesman $13,100, ordered court costs, and $100 Crime Victims Compensation Fee.
Under Alabama law, a person commits the crime of rape in the first degree if he, being 16 years or older, engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is less than 12 years old. Sodomy in the first degree occurs when someone over the age of 16 engages in deviate sexual intercourse with someone who is less than 12 years old. Sodomy in the second degree occurs when someone over the age of 16 engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person between the ages of 12 and 16. Sexual abuse in the first degree occurs when someone subjects another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion. Sexual abuse in the second degree occurs when someone over the age of 19 subjects another person to sexual contact who is between the ages of 12 and 16.
“Sadly, this goes on in our community. But, with every breath that I am given, I will fight and stand up for victims of child sex crimes,’’ Casey said. “There is absolutely no excuse for harming a child. None. And, those that do should pay dearly for their crimes.”
Casey encourages parents to “Be cautious. Talk to your children. Be curious. Talk to the people who take care of your children. Be suspicious. Ask the tough questions. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your children.”