A Campbell man will spend nearly seven years in prison for sexually abusing his stepdaughters over a 10-year period beginning in 2001.
Carvell Cecil, 38, of Moore Avenue, appeared Wednesday before Judge Lou A. D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for sentencing on charges of gross sexual imposition, importuning, disseminating information harmful to a juvenile and public indecency.
Cecil is charged with the molestation of two girls beginning when each was 9 years old. The girls are the children of his wife.
Cecil pleaded guilty to the charges in January. He could have been sentenced to nearly 30 years behind bars.
Natasha Frenchko, an assistant county prosecutor, asked for 15 years in prison as part of the plea agreement.
“He is a sick individual, and for years, he abused his own stepchildren in their home. Home here was the most-dangerous place for these little girls,” Frenchko told the judge. “He must be stopped before he does this again or moves onto something worse.”
Judge D’Apolito handed down a 61/2-year sentence. Cecil will be given credit for the 140 days he has spent in Mahoning County jail waiting resolution of the case.
Cecil will also be required to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years.
During the sentencing hearing, Cecil’s wife, the mother of the girls, spoke on his behalf.
Darla Cecil told the court she still loves her husband but cannot be with the man because of her children. She said she believes her husband would benefit from counseling and should be allowed to be there for the three other children she and Cecil have in common.
Darla and Carvell Cecil married in 2004 in the middle of the time frame when prosecutors say Carvell Cecil was molesting the two girls.
Darla Cecil said she began seeking counseling for her husband as soon as she learned what had taken place. She said the marriage continued because she believed it was an isolated incident and the counseling was effective.
Frenchko said the abuse of the young girls continued even after Darla Cecil’s knowledge of what had taken place.
“She found out when the first girl was 13 years old, and he promised it would never happen again, and the two got married. A short time later, when the other daughter turned 9, the abuse began with her,” Frenchko said. “He is just a man who preys on kids.”
The Rev. Kenneth Paramore, pastor to the Cecil family, also spoke on behalf of Carvell Cecil. He said Cecil came to him seeking help for his problem before being arrested, and he began counseling the man.
The pastor asked the court for leniency, saying Cecil is “salvageable” and he believes Cecil would benefit from counseling. He told the court he is willing to provide Cecil with counseling.
“I deeply apologize for my actions. I am standing here embarrassed and upset that I caused a whole lot of grief,” Cecil said in a tearful statement to the judge.
Brian Tareshawty, representing Cecil, said he would not attempt to justify his client’s conduct, but asked the court for a sentence less than the 15 years requested by prosecutors.
“Some murderers don’t even get 10 to 15 years,” Tareshawty said. “He is not the monster [prosecutors] make him out to be.”