Man accused of preying on young girls has charges changed to first-degree sexual abuse
Image 1 / 2
Boone County Magistrate Charles Byrnside, right, explains the new criminal charges filed against Cecil Wight, left.
MADISON – A man police charged with preying on young girls in a trailer park in Bim had sexual assault charges dismissed, but new charges of first-degree sexual abuse filed against him Friday, April 27, 2012, at the Boone County Courthouse in Madison.
Cecil Wight, 65, of Huntington, was originally charged on April 17, 2012, with sexual assault after police claimed he had touched children inappropriately.
“At this point, we believe this is the more appropriate charge,” said Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Keith Randolph.
Wight was arrested Tuesday afternoon, April 17, 2012, at a trailer he owns in Bim, which is along W.Va. 85, near Wharton in Boone County.
Police said the mothers of two 6-year-olds came forward with inappropriate sexual allegations against Wight. Then, a third victim, a 9-year-old girl, has since come forward.
Police have said there could be more victims in the case and the prosecutor has not ruled out additional charges against Wight.
The victims say the alleged abuse has been going on since last summer, according to the criminal complaint filed in the case.
"One of his last comments to me was that he loves looking at little girls' butts, 'They're so cute,'" Wight reportedly told police.
Police said Wight, who lives in Huntington, frequently drove to the mobile home in Bim and spent extended amounts of time there.
Police said residents were “irate.”
He said someone broke windows in both Wight's vehicle and mobile home. Wight's belongings also had been tampered with.
Troopers had no suspects in that incident.
The mother of one of the 6-year-old victims told troopers that her daughter told her "Cecil the old man" had been taking pictures of her while she changed clothes in his home and had touched her genitals on several occasions, according to a criminal complaint.
Trooper E.B. McClung went to Wight's home to speak with him about the incident. Wight allowed the officer to search his home.
McClung found a cellphone with pictures of the 6-year-old victim's partially clothed lower body and of the girl in panties and a training bra.
Wight spoke freely to the trooper while he searched the home and told the officer he knew why he was there although the officer never questioned him at the home about sexual contact with the child.
Wight told the trooper he often cleaned the child and washed “her bottom when she has had accidents . . . on herself.” He went on to say that when he washed her, he always checked her with his hands "to make sure she is clean, and may have touched her private area when doing so," according to the complaint.
The child told troopers Wight touched her and exposed him to her and made her touch him.
Wight was taken into custody and again told police about cleaning the girl but added that "he may have hurt her in this process," the complaint said.
Police added that evidence was being analyzed at Marshal University's Digital Forensics Laboratory.
Police said Wight does not have an extensive criminal history in West Virginia, “only a citation or something,” but troopers are looking into his past in other states.
He remains at Southwestern Regional Jail on a $100,000 surety or property or $10,000 cash bond. Wight faces 5 to 25 years on the charge and a fine of $1,000 to $5,000. A preliminary hearing will be set within the next 10 to 20 days, according to Boone County Magistrate Charles Byrnside.
Wight told the magistrate he wanted an attorney and would not waive his right to a preliminary hearing until after he sought the attorney’s advice.
The magistrate instructed Wight not to have any contact with the alleged victims or their families if he is able to make bond and get out of jail.