A former day care worker was found guilty on 64 child sex charges Wednesday after a three-day trial.
Iredell Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Joe Crosswhite sentenced Joshua Young to more than 200 years in prison.
Young, 43, was charged with 49 counts of indecent liberties with a child and 15 counts of first-degree sexual offense in 2014. The charges stem from the claims of two women who said Young assaulted them repeatedly in the mid-1990s when they attended the Church of Today Daycare on Brevard Street as young children.
In her closing argument, defense attorney Hazel Sherrill pointed out discrepancies in the victims’ testimonies. It was not clear when one woman had attended the day care, and the other told a slightly different story when she was questioned by police in 2014 and when she testified in court Tuesday.
The woman said Young told her to stay awake during nap time until he came and got her in her initial report, but she said in court that she was awakened by Young.
Assistant District Attorney Scott Cranford argued there were several consistencies. The woman who made a report in 1999 did not alter what she told police even with 15 years between the two interviews.
Cranford questioned why only Young and one other former day care employee were called to the stand when it was day care policy to have four adults working with the children at a time, and one of Young’s coworkers at the day care was his still-living sister.
In his testimony, when directly questioned, Young said he had never hurt the children. Cranford pointed out that if the women had made up the allegations, why would they have not claimed worse actions.
Last wordsJudge Crosswhite allowed any party related to the trial an opportunity to speak before he sentenced Young.
Young’s family said they couldn’t speak to the past, but he was a good man now who provided well for his wife and daughters even when he struggled to find a job after the 64 charges were brought against him.
“In the years since the mid-1990’s, he (Young) grew up, and the man he grew up to be has a lot of good in him,” Sherrill said.
Sherrill filed a notice of appeal, though she said she would not be representing him further.
Young read the Lord’s Prayer. He thanked his wife for staying by his side since the charges were brought against him.
“I am grateful for there is one judge and that one judge is God. For some people to look at me in any way they would want to look at me, I know that I am a changed man,” Young said.
Young added a little later as he addressed the court, “One thing that I’ve shared with my oldest (daughter) to understand what daddy’s been going through, I’ve said in life, you have to deal with consequences of the things you’ve done.”
The women and their mothers expressed gratitude to the court and the jury.
“I want to thank everyone here for allowing myself and the other victims the chance to tell our story and to be heard because it’s not every day that victims are given the chance to be heard,” one woman said. “It’s very important to our mental stability and our physical well-being in general.”
She added that there was no reason the case should have taken 20 years to meet a resolution. She thanked the jury and her mother for believing her when she was a child.
“As soon as every guilty count came out, it took my air because I felt hatred and I felt everything that was evil leaving my heart,” her mother said.
The other woman also spoke.
“I want to thank you all for being our family, the family we built,” she said, looking back at the group of women made up of victims and relatives that sat together and comforted each other during the trial.
After Young was sentenced and court was adjourned, the women and their relatives hugged and personally thanked members of the jury.