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Two child predators receive multiple life sentences | News | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

TAZEWELL, Va. — Two men convicted in circuit court of multiple sex offenses against children have been sentenced to life in prison, the Commonwealth’s Attorney of Tazewell County announced Thursday.

J. Christopher Plaster, Tazewell County Commonwealth’s Attorney, said in his announcement that Joshua Adam Keen, 41, of Richlands, Va. and Herbert Junior Sparks, 50, of North Tazewell, Va. were sentenced Thursday in the Tazewell County Circuit Court after being found guilty last February of multiple child sexual assaults.

A jury found Keen guilty on Feb. 21 of three counts of aggravated sexual battery of a child under the age of 13, two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child by a custodian and one count of forcible sodomy of a child under 13 years of age. Keen also pleaded guilty to escaping custody after being transported to an area hospital and running out the door and remaining at large for nearly a year, Plaster said.

Sparks was found guilty by a judge on Feb. 22 of two counts of child endangerment, two counts of rape of a child under the age of 13, two counts of sexual penetration with an object; two counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of forcible sodomy, two counts of indecent liberties of a child by a custodian, one count of producing or making child pornography, and one count of displaying child porn or grooming video to child under the age of 13.

Keen was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 70 years, Plaster said. Sparks received six life sentences plus an additional 95 years to serve in prison.

During the sentencing hearing for Keen, Kati Asbury, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, introduced victim impact statements.

“He (Keen) betrayed my trust and my innocence. I will never fully recover from what was done to me. I felt like I got the justice I have been waiting for, for so long,” one victim said in an impact statement.

Asbury argued for the maximum sentence.

“No sentence, no amount of time, will ever give them back what he took from them,” Asbury said.

During the sentencing hearing for Sparks, Asbury also argued for the maximum sentence.

“He deserves everyday this court can give him,” Asbury said.

Victim impacts statements were also introduced in this hearing

“You are a monster, and in general, a terrible person, ” one victim told Sparks.

Sparks was defiant during the hearing, rolling his eyes at the victim’s statements and also previously refusing to participate in preparation for his sentencing, Plaster said in his announcement.

Plaster said his office wanted to thank all the agencies that helped with both cases and convictions: Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, Richlands Police Department, Virginia State Police, the Department of Social Services, April Morefield and the CARE Center, Clinch Valley Medical Center, Ultra Health, Cumberland Mountain Community Services and District 43 Probation and Parole Office.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kati Asbury prosecuted both cases. Chief Deputy Brandon Goins and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Phillip Foy assisted with prosecuting these cases.

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