Police Praise Women Who Stepped Forward in Sexual Abuse Case - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Police Praise Women Who Stepped Forward in Sexual Abuse Case

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Waynesboro police are praising the four women who stepped forward to report decades of alleged sexual abuse by the same man.  John Williamson Clark II is now behind bars, and might face a life sentence.

This case involves what police call "heinous" crimes that began in the mid-1970s and continued until the late 90s.  The investigation began this past spring, and gradually led to more victims and many more allegations of child sexual abuse.

Clark, 66, was first arrested in March on three charges involving a single victim.  But this week, a Waynesboro grand jury indicted him on 21 additional charges including rape, sodomy and aggravated sexual battery.

The four alleged victims are all adults now.  Police say that at the time of the offenses, they ranged in age from toddlers to early teens.

Sgt. Brian Edwards with the Waynesboro Police Department said, "These women have shown amazing strength and fortitude to come forward - a lot of this stuff, they just really wanted to put behind them."

Waynesboro police say each of the alleged victims endured abuse on multiple occasions, sometimes continuing for several years.  A trial date for Clark has not yet been set.

Clark was free on bail until just after the new indictments came down this week.  He's being held in the Middle River Regional Jail, but will be in court again for a bond hearing next Wednesday.

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