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Decision upheld by Court of Appeals

By Staff | Feb 3, 2017

CHARLESTON – Accused of child pornography and second degree sexual-assault of a minor, a Jefferson County offender appealed to West Virginia’s highest court to reduce his sentence.

The offender, Wayne Jeffrey Dubuque, 55, of Maddex Farm Drive, was charged with nine felony counts of possessing, distributing or exhibiting material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct in June of 2014. According to the Jefferson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Hassan Rasheed, the photographs and video casette tapes showed Dubuque sexually assaulting a female relative from when she was five until she was 11.

Dubuque pleaded guilty to a second-degree sexual assault charge and four child pornography charges in November 2015.

In March 2016, Judge David H. Sanders of the Jefferson County Circuit Court sentenced Dubuque to serve between 25 and 75 years in prison for the convictions.

Dubuque appealed the sentence in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on Friday. In the Memorandum Decision, the court states Dubuque’s appeal claimed his indictment violated the double jeopardy principle – stated in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which prevents individuals from being punished more than once for a single offense.

Chief Justice Allen H. Loughry, Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Menis E. Ketchum and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker all upheld the Jefferson County Circuit Court’s decision, however. Justice Robin Jean Davis was the only dissenting judge.

Using a decision from a previous case, the court upheld the lower court’s ruling.

“Our statutes protecting children from exploitation are interpreted to mean that possession of each photograph is a separate act and is a distinct and separate unit of prosecution allowing the State of West Virginia to charge separate counts and prosecute each act of possession,” the court said in the decision. “There was no error in the indictment.”

Dubuque will not be eligible for parole until he is 79 years old.