Clarksburg man charged in alleged sexual abuse incident involving 12-year-old in Shinnston


SHINNSTON, W.Va. — A Clarksburg man has been charged after an alleged sexual abuse incident taking place in Shinnston.

On Dec. 22, troopers with the Bridgeport detachment of the West Virginia State Police began an investigation into a sexual abuse incident which took place at a residence on Hickory View Way in Shinnston, according to a criminal complaint.

The 12-year-old female victim was interviewed by the Child Advocacy Center and stated that Benjamin Bassell, 41, of Clarksburg, was in the same residence as her and “took control of her hand” during an incident on Dec. 22 and made her touch him inappropriately, troopers said.

During the incident, the victim “stated she would try to move it[her hand] and [Bassell] would put pressure on it,” and any attempt the victim made to “pull her hand away” resulted in Bassell moving it onto his genitals, according to the complaint.

On Dec. 29, troopers interviewed Bassell and after being read his Miranda rights, Bassell stated that “he fell asleep on the couch next to the victim” on the day of the incident, troopers said.

During that interview, Bassell stated that “he woke up thinking his girlfriend was rubbing his leg,” and that he “grabbed the hand on his leg and realized it was actually the victim,” and that he had “put his hand on her back” to ask “if she was asleep,” according to the complaint.

Bassell has been charged with first-degree sexual abuse. He is currently out on $10,000 bond.

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