Mercer County Man Sentenced To Prison For Sexual Abuse, Could Face A Total of 460 Years

MERCER COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Jesse James Collins of Oakvale, 36, was sentenced today to before Judge Mark, E. Wills. According to Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler, Mr. Collins was sentenced to 95 to 225 years in the penitentiary with 103 to 235 years to run concurrently. Mr. Collins was facing 198 to 460 years total.

Mr. Collins’ charges of Sexual Assault – First Degree; Sexual Abuse – First Degree; Sexual Abuse by a Parent, Guardian, or Custodian; and Incest arose after a complaint was made at the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department by a family member. According to the trial testimony, Mr. Collins sexually abused three children in his care from January 1, 2009 to March 1, 2017.

Mr. Collins, who testified in his own defense, claimed to have been sexually molested as a child himself. During the trial, the State played three recorded statements given by Mr. Collins during the investigation where he confessed to molesting all three children to some degree. However, testimony given by two of the three children to the abuse they and their younger sibling suffered at Mr. Collins’ hands, painted a much more detailed look at the depraved acts performed by the defendant. The jury returned with a guilty verdict on all 26 counts in the indictment.

Sitler said, “I want to thank Detective Steven Sommers with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department for his skillful handling of this unfortunate situation. I would also like to thank Sgt. Melissa Clemons of the West Virginia State Police, Crimes Against Children Unit for her additional assistance in this case.”

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