Man Sentenced In Child Abuse Case

SNOW HILL — A Bishopville man, who pleaded guilty in April to sex abuse of a minor and rape for roughly 180 encounters with his teenage stepdaughter, was sentenced this week to a combined 85 years with all but 45 suspended.

In April, John Anthony Clark, 31, of Bishopville, pleaded guilty to one count of sex abuse of a minor and three counts of second-degree rape for roughly 180 encounters with his 13-year-old stepdaughter dating back to 2014. Back in court on Monday, Clark was sentenced to a combined 85 years, all but 45 of which was then suspended.

Visiting Judge Matt Maciarello presided over the sentencing hearing in Worcester County Circuit Court on Monday. In addition, Clark was ordered to register as a tier III sex offender, which requires a lifetime registration on the sex offender registry with supervision.

Clark had been taken into custody in November by the Maryland State Police after an in-depth investigation produced evidence he had sexually abused his teenage stepdaughter over a period of three years from 2014 to 2017.

“Children are our greatest resource and the plea presented by Deputy State’s Attorney Diane Karsnitz has ensured their protection,” said Maciarrello.

Interim Worcester County State’s Attorney Bill McDermott praised the diligent efforts of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation and, in particular, the Child Advocacy Center and Karsnitz who never waivered from protecting the most vulnerable in the community.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

Alternative Text

Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.