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Man sentenced to life without parole for raping children

A Monroe County jury sent a West Virginia man to prison for life without the possibility of parole Friday for raping two children.

Joshua Carpenter, also known as Brittney Leanna Carpenter, 32, of Huntington, W.Va., was convicted of rape of two minors under the age of 10 Thursday and the jury returned Friday to confirm the specification of classifying Carpenter as a sexually violent predator.

“There is nothing uglier than the violation of children – this guy is a monster,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a release Friday. “If I had it my way, the law for raping a small child would allow for the death penalty.”

The specification of sexually violent predator did allow for additional prison time, as other specifications like using a weapon in the commission of a crime afford prosecutors in other cases.

Carpenter faced six counts of rape, all first-degree felonies, with specifications including force on his victims and qualifying that both victims were under 10 years old.

“Our office was asked to prosecute the case because we have prosecutors specifically trained in finding justice for crimes against children,” said Steve Irwin, media contact with the attorney general’s office.

The jury trial this week focused on Carpenter’s violation of both children, whom Irwin said testified.

“This was something that was ongoing for the last several years,” explained Irwin, though he said the current ages of the children and their relationship would remain undisclosed to protect the victims.

Monroe County Sheriff Charles Black could not be reached for comment Friday, but Carpenter’s face is familiar in Washington County, too.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks was able to access Carpenter’s mug shots both as a male and female in his county jail booking database. Carpenter is currently living as a man, although he previously lived as a woman.

“Marietta police had arrested him out at a Marietta hotel a few years ago for prostitution and drugs,” said Mincks.

The listed officer on the case, Joshua Staats, recalled the March 2012 arrest as well on Friday.

“We had bought drugs off of him and another woman, and there was a misdemeanor solicitation charge,” said Staats. “I do remember that case and his face, that was back when the Quality Inn was the Comfort Inn.”

Irwin said the jury found that Carpenter had and would be likely to commit sexual crimes again and the specification resulted in a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility for parole.

The case was prosecuted by attorneys within the Ohio Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Section.

At a glance:

• Joshua E. Carpenter, also known as Brittney Leanna Carpenter, 32, of Huntington, W.Va., was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Friday.

• Carpenter was convicted of rape of two minors under the age of 10 by a Monroe County jury.

• Carpenter was prosecuted by Ohio Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Section.

Source: Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

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