Jury finds father guilty in child sexual abuse case

Father testified he didn't know convicted sex offender was sexually abusing daughter

Published On: Oct 04 2012 01:30:53 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 05 2012 11:06:18 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A jury on Thursday night found a father guilty of allowing a convicted sex offender and another man to have sex with his then-9-year-old daughter.

After a three-day trial, the jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding Christopher Perry, 42, guilty of all eight charges, including sexual battery, conspiracy to commit sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation and child neglect.

"We were hoping for complete accountability and responsibility with this jury, and we are very pleased," prosecutor Jessica Villella said after the verdict was read.

In sentencing Perry to six life sentences plus 45 years, Judge Adrian Soud said the maximum legal punishment can't reverse the harm he's done to his child.

"She would turn to you and her mom any time she was sick, any time she was hungry, any time she needs protection. And rather than provide for her, you hated her," Soud said. "You deserve every ounce of responsibility the law can impose."

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Perry testified in court Thursday in his own defense.

Perry said he met Robert Young, the man accused of molesting the girl, 18 years ago when they worked together at S&S Cafeteria. Perry was a dishwasher and Young a line cook.

Once the two started hanging out, Young told him he was a convicted sex offender and that 20 years prior he was having sex with a 17-year-old who lied about her age.

Young moved into the Perry's home at the beginning of December 2010. Perry said it was his wife Mary's idea to let him sleep in their daughter's room, and he didn't think anything of it.

Perry was holding back tears while on the stand Thursday talking about his daughter.

"She's my heart and soul," he said. "I love her to death. She's everything to me. I never thought in 100 years this man would touch my daughter. He's always been with women. I never thought little kids, never thought he would do this to me."

Perry said he lied to Department of Children and Families investigators looking into the case about Young sleeping in the girl's room because "it would have just started a bunch of crap" he didn't need at the time.

Perry said he didn't have any idea about the sexual abuse and that his wife didn't tell him anything. He said he talked to his daughter after she left DCF and asked her if anything happened, and she told him no.

Perry said he didn't know anything about the sexual abuse until he and his wife were arrested March 2, 2011.

When DCF made its allegations, Perry said he asked his daughter if there was anything she wanted to tell him, and he said she didn't say anything.

The prosecution argued he didn't make much effort to find out what was happening to his daughter, and Perry admitted he never specifically asked his daughter if Young touched her.

Perry admitted he saw Young bathing his daughter, but didn't think it was a big deal, saying Young was like a stepfather to his kids.

Perry also claimed he didn't know Young's prior sexual conviction was for molesting his 13-year-old stepdaughter. But when the prosecution played a recording of Perry admitting it to investigators, Perry stood up in the courtroom and screamed, "Your Honor, I never said that."

"Mr. Perry, have a seat," the judge told him.

The prosecution argued Perry turned a blind eye to clue after clue because Young financially supported the family, and prosecutors questioned Perry's actions, or lack thereof.

"Sitting here today, do you think you did everything you could to protect your daughter?" prosecutor Alan Mizrahi asked Perry.

"Yes," Perry responded.

Mary Perry had already pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in jail.

Michael Halveland and Robert Young He had been charged with allowing Michael Halveland and Young (pictured, right) to have sex with his daughter.

Halveland has pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious molestation and is awaiting sentencing. Young, a registered sex offender, is awaiting trial.

The girl's grandmother, Patricia Woloszynowski, is also charged with allowing the sexual abuse to take place. She's awaiting trial.