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Parishville man imprisoned for sexually abusing child

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CANTON — A Parishville man was sentenced Thursday morning to four years in state prison for sexually abusing a relative.

David M. Russell, 64, of 15 Sinclair Road, was sentenced by Judge Jerome J. Richards in St. Lawrence County Court after pleading guilty July 8 to first-degree sexual abuse.

Russell abused the now 6-year-old girl from 2011 to Feb. 2, 2013.

Before the judge handed down the sentence Thursday, the victim’s mother told Russell how much pain he brought to the little girl who once thought so highly of him.

“David, I would have trusted you with anything. You were her hero,” said the woman, whose name the Courier-Observer is not reporting to protect the privacy of the victim.

Sobbing heavily, the woman added, “Now she asks me, ‘Mommy, why did ... do this to me?’ How do you answer that to a baby?”

Judge Richards said he received a number of letters from family members addressing the case. Although he did not read from them, he did comment that one of the letters, from the victim’s mother, showed the trauma the child suffered .

The mother said to Russell, “Do you think a six-year-old has the imagination to make this up? Four years in prison will never be enough for what you did to my little girl.”

What’s worse, she told Russell, is that he has not shown a bit of remorse.

“I pray every day that you will feel the pain that you have done to ... and this family,” she said.

Judge Richards harangued Russell for refusing to take full responsibility for his actions after he denied certain graphic details that were described in court.

“You have no concept of what you’ve done,” Judge Richards said. “Kids don’t make these things up. (The victim) needs you to be painfully honest and if you can’t do that you will never heal your family.”

In addition to a determinate sentence of four years in prison, Russell will face 15 years of post-release supervision. He also was ordered to pay $1,425 in court fines, fees and surcharges and has been ordered to have no contact with the victim through 2040.

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