Saturday, June 12, 2004

Covington man, 44, guilty in abuse case

Girl's charges result in 25-year term

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - A Covington man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after a Kenton County jury found him guilty of the rape and sexual abuse of a young girl.

Michael Wardia, 44, was convicted of rape in the first degree and sex abuse in the first degree after a jury deliberated for nearly five hours Thursday, said Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Bill Crockett.

Wardia was given sentences of 20 years on the rape charge and five years on the charge of sexual abuse. He will have to serve nearly 20 years before being eligible for parole.

"Justice has been served," Crockett said.

Covington Police Detective Dave Hampton investigated the case. Cases involving the abuse of young children are perhaps the most demanding and stressful cases that are encountered in our day-to-day activities," Crockett said.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys Neil Middendorf and Christy Muncy prosecuted Wardia. Both are members of Crockett's Major Case Unit.

"The conviction was really quite extraordinary," Crockett said. "It was a he said/she said type case. There was no corroborating evidence. Neil and Christy were able to get the conviction from information they received from the girl and from the investigation. It was good work."

Kenton Circuit Judge Douglas Stephens heard the case and imposed the 25-year sentence after Wardia waived a pre-sentence investigation.



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