Prison time for child molester

Shawn R. Webb will be spending at least 12 years in state prison for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl five years ago.

Webb, 38, of Williamsport, was convicted by a Lycoming County jury on April 18 of numerous counts related to two sexual incidents.

Webb has maintained his innocence, and has said he was depressed and did not want to live when he confessed the crimes to police in Concord, N.C., where he was living at the time.

On Thursday at his sentencing, his father, mother, stepfather and friend testified to their belief in Webb’s innocence.

“I know from the bottom of my heart, I would lay down my life, that Shawn Webb didn’t do this,” said friend Scott Delker. “I know Shawn knows his Lord, knows his God.”

“I don’t have a doubt about this – no matter what the world says about him, he didn’t do it,” said the Rev. Velinda Webb-Smith, Shawn’s mother. “He’s not lying about this depression. I believe something will change this and not follow him the rest of his life.”

Webb spoke to Judge Dudley Anderson on his own behalf.

“I will accept responsibility if I do something, and will fight when it’s something I didn’t do. The last 15 months were probably the worst 15 months of my life, separated from my children. It’s worse than anything the judicial system could do to me. I’ll accept whatever you say and try to be a better person than apparently I was.”

Assistant district attorney Melissa Kalaus read a letter from the victim.

“I hope he gets everything he deserved because I had to keep a secret,” Kalaus read. “I hope he never sees the light of day for a very long time is the least we can get.”

“All the people who came up today and basically said this child is a liar, I don’t know what to say,” Kalaus said. “This little girl is always going to have a lifetime of memories to think about. This is not a person who needs to be around children anytime soon.”

Anderson spoke to the offender’s family before he passed judgment.

“I’m in no way disrespecting your faith … this sounds a bit callous perhaps, but I don’t have that luxury. I’m guided by the laws of the state of Pennsylvania – I’m guided not by the principles of faith but by the principles of analysis.

“To say I gave a confession because I thought it was my way to death, that didn’t make much sense to me at all,” Anderson continued. “(Webb’s) testimony was so close to the testimony (of the victims) it can’t be a coincidence.”

Anderson sentenced Webb to 12 to 24 years in state prison, with an additional 10 years under state supervision.