MARLINTON, W.Va. – A former Pocahontas County sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse in connection with having sex with approximately two dozen women and girls over a 15-year period.
Bradley Totten, 41, of Hillsboro, entered the plea last Friday to one count of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian. He had originally been indicted on 66 separate counts stretching from 1995 to 2010.
Special Prosecutor Brian Parsons told MetroNews he decided to offer a plea bargain for a number of reasons including an opportunity to keep the victims from having to take the stand during a trial.
“There’s what you would like to do as a prosecutor in terms of securing a lot of potential jail time but you have to balance that with the interest of the victims and the interest of the public,” Parsons said.
The evidence indicated Totten would sexually abuse women after he had arrested them. Parsons said Totten also had sex with women on home confinement and on community corrections.
“Sometimes it was just underage girls he found while he was on duty,” Parsons said.
As part of the plea bargain, Totten will be required to register as a sex offender for life.
“With the potential penalty and the nature of the crime–his days in law enforcement are over,” Parsons said.
Totten faces 10 to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced by Pocahontas County Circuit Judge Jim Rowe in Marlinton on Sept. 20. Special Prosecutor Parsons said Monday he will not stand silent at sentencing.
“If he sentences him to the penitentiary then the defendant would have to serve 10 years and would not be eligible for parole until the conclusion of those 10 years,” according to Parsons. “There’s obviously a long period of time between now and then for the court’s probation office to speak to victims and get their input.”
Last August a Pocahontas County grand jury indicted former Assistant Pocahontas County Prosecuting Attorney Jarrell Lee Clifton, II, on sex-related charges.
Parsons said Monday that investigation is ongoing.