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Salem man gets prison sentence for attempting sexual contact with young girl

Union Leader Correspondent

June 04. 2014 9:57PM

Ronald Libby, 73, of Salem was sentenced Wednesday in Rockingham County Superior Court for attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/Union Leader Correspondent)

BRENTWOOD — A 73-year-old Salem man convicted of attempting to have sexual contact with a young girl being baby-sat at his home was ordered Wednesday to spend three to 10 years in state prison, capping the first of his three trials on similar charges.

Judge Marguerite Wageling said she was especially disturbed by the testimony of the 6-year-old’s mother, describing how her daughter one day ran screaming from the home where Ronald Libby’s wife had a babysitting business.

“She didn’t know how to get away from you,” Wageling told Libby during his sentencing hearing for attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault. “She didn’t know how to get away from your perverted behavior.”

A jury convicted Libby on May 22 for repeatedly trying to get the girl to touch him between September 2008 and July 2010. Libby faces two other trials this fall for allegedly having sexual contact or trying to have a sexual encounter with a pair of young girls in the 1990s. Wageling said she will let Libby apply to have one year suspended from his minimum sentence after he completes a sexual offender program while incarcerated. He will only be allowed to have contact with children under the age of 13 under guidelines set by the county attorney’s office, Wageling said. The victim’s father told Wageling in court that he hopes that Libby will get counseling while incarcerated.

“We as a family will move on and heal our wounds,” he said. Defense lawyer William Korman asked Wageling to sentence Libby to either 10 years of house arrest with electronic monitoring, or a one- to two-year prison term. He said he plans to file an appeal challenging sufficiency of the evidence in the case. Salem Deputy Police Chief Shawn Patten praised Detective Brendan Gleason’s work on the case after Wednesday’s sentence.

“It was a great job by Detective Gleason on an extremely difficult and sensitive case,” Patten said.

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