Arraignment set for suspect in child sexual abuse

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 6, 2008

COURTLAND—A Suffolk man charged with 19 counts of sexually abusing minors is set to be arraigned in Southampton Circuit Court on Thursday.

Thirty-five-year-old Carlton Kearney of Lake Speight Drive in Suffolk faces three charges of carnal knowledge of a child, four charges of animate object sexual penetration, six charges of taking indecent liberties with a child, three charges of aggravated sexual battery and three charges of forcible sodomy.

Sources said that Kearney knew both of his alleged victims, who are females and were 12 and 13 years old at the time the incidents began in 1997. The abuse allegedly occurred intermittently through the year 2001 in the City of Franklin.

Franklin Police Lt. T.W. Whitt, a spokesman for his department, said investigators originally were alerted to the possibility of sexual abuse against the two girls in February 2007. Kearney was arrested on one set of charges last June. More charges were lodged against him the following month.

Kearney’s trial date will be set Thursday, when a judge will also be asked to rule on a defense motion to sever the charges, thereby setting up separate trials. Kearney is being represented by Jennifer Walsh, a public defender. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Randall is prosecuting the case.