A Kanawha circuit judge on Wednesday handed down the maximum possible sentence for a man who admitted to sexually abusing a child relative.
Judge Joanna Tabit sentenced Michael Ray Moles Jr. to between 25 and 55 years in prison plus 50 years of supervised release during a hearing Wednesday morning.
Moles, 46, in February pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust and one count of distributing and exhibiting material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Relatives of the victim said Moles’ actions tore their family apart, and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Adam Petry echoed the family’s sentiments.
“They trusted him to watch for the welfare of their child,” Petry said. “The only thing he did was steal the child’s innocence away.”
With Tabit’s sentence, Moles will spend 25 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
Moles was accused of forcing sex and other sexual acts on a boy who was younger than 12 years old at the time, according to the indictment a Kanawha grand jury handed up in March.
Moles also was accused of possessing or distributing more than 600 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including about an hour’s worth of video described in the indictment.
Moles has been incarcerated at South Central Regional Jail since December 2017.