The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 16, 2014

Hawver pleads guilty to sex abuse

By Jessica Farrish
Register-Herald Reporter

— A Victor man charged in 2012 with sexually molesting the daughter of his girlfriend has pleaded guilty in Fayette County Circuit Court to two charges and now faces 10 to 25 years in prison.

Brian Daniel Hawver, 39, of Victor, was indicted in 2012 on 10 felony counts.

He pleaded guilty Monday to one count of third degree sexual assault, which carries a penalty of one to five years in prison, and one count of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian, for which he faces a 10- to 20-year sentence, according to Fayette assistant prosecuting attorney Brian Parsons.

Parsons said Hawver will be examined by a psychiatrist prior to sentencing in an effort to determine the likelihood of rehabilitation.

Parsons added that he plans to recommend that Hawver serve any sentences consecutively.

 

Parsons said that in 2003, Hawver, then 29, sexually molested a 14-year-old girl who was staying with his then-wife for the summer in Ansted. The girl returned the following summer, and Hawver allegedly continued the molestation.

The girl’s parents became suspicious when she returned to her own residence, Parsons said. They recorded Hawver making inappropriate comments to the girl and found e-mails that suggested an inappropriate relationship, he added.

When the parents took the evidence to State Police, however, the girl denied any sexual activity with Hawver.

Hawver denied it as well.

A short time later, Hawver moved in with a woman who had two daughters under the age of 12, reported the prosecutor.

In January 2005, said Parsons, Hawver began sexually molesting the younger daughter.

“One of the girls (who was 11 or 12) found the diary of the other girl (age 9) and in it, it labeled, ‘Brian is a child molester.’”

The girls’ mother went to police in 2011, and following an investigation, police charged him with 10 counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian and 10 counts of first-degree sexual abuse for molesting the girl from January 2005 to August 2011.

In 2012, Parsons got suspicious when he saw that no previous sex abuse charges had been filed against Hawver.

“Because of my ‘crummy job,’ I know that pedophiles don’t ‘just start,’” said Parsons.

Parsons started investigating Hawver and uncovered the 2004 State Police report.

“I found (the girl who had stayed at his ex-wife’s house), explained what was going on, that this sort of thing was continuing,” said Parsons. “She agreed to cooperate.”

The victim, now in her 20s, told police that she had lied in 2004 because she’d thought her relationship with Hawver was a romantic one and that he’d “loved” her.

Hawver was arrested in November on 35 felony counts of sex crimes, 17 counts of sexual abuse by parent, guardian or custodian; 17 counts of third-degree sexual assault; and one count of soliciting a minor via computer, all in connection to the 2004 complaint.

Hawver reached a plea agreement with prosecutors before those charges could be presented to a grand jury.

—  E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com