Sedley man gets 15 years in prison for molesting girls

Published 9:14 am Thursday, November 10, 2011

COURTLAND—A Sedley man described as hardworking and trustworthy will serve 15 years in prison after he pleaded no contest to repeatedly molesting two girls — one 10 and the other 12 — in 2006.

Donald Buhls, 40, was also given indefinite supervision and ordered to register as a sex offender, undergo a sexual history polygraph and stay away from anyone under 18.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Toni Colvin told the court Buhls’ promised the girls field trips if they did not tell anyone.

Buhls, who was charged with four counts of aggravated sexual battery, called the incidents “a big mistake” and asked the court for leniency to help support his mother and children.

Southampton County Circuit Judge Carl E. Eason Jr. told Buhls that he had “not yet come to grips with what he did.”

“You engaged in conduct that will not be tolerated,” Eason said.

Buhls’ mother, Luise Buhls, testified that her son helped her with her finances and he had never been in trouble before.

“I need him home,” she told the court.

Family friend Elaine Gray told the court that Donald Buhls had been living on her property and helped out. Gray described the defendant as hardworking and trustworthy.