ANNAPOLIS, MD. (WJZ) — A Davidsonville man will spend the maximum penalty of 60 years in prison for the sexual abuse of a minor and the second-degree rape of a three-year-old child.

Joseph Earl Carter, 33, was already registered as a lifetime sex offender from a previous sexual offense committed against another child.

“Mr. Carter violated the most innocent member of our community and received the sentence he deserved for his heinous crime,” said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess.

Anne Arundel County Police were called to the Anne Arundel Medical Center for a report of child sexual abuse on August 16, 2018.

At the hospital, the three-year-old said that Carter had committed sexually abusive acts against her. The child also told a forensic interviewer at the Child Advocacy Center during a videotaped statement.

Police learned that Carter offered to watch the child while the caregiver was taking a nap. Carter said he was never alone with the child, which the caregiver at the time said was not true.

The victim, now four-years-old, took the witness stand during the trial to testify in court.

Under Maryland law, the child’s forensic interview was allowed to be substantive evidence at trial under the “Tender Years” statute.

The jury then saw the child’s videotaped recount of the abuse and then heard the testimony from the emergency room physician who treated the child, and the lead detective in the case.

Family members also described how the child changed behaviorally and emotionally after the sexual abuse.

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