Mercer County man charged with sex crimes flees from deputies

·2 min read

Jan. 25—PRINCETON — A Mercer County man who was arrested after running from his girlfriend's home when deputies arrived to investigate a sexual assault report was arraigned Tuesday on charges including first-degree sexual assault of a child under 12.

Christopher Wayne Hinton, 31, of Bluefield, who is being held at the Southern Regional Jail, was arraigned by video Tuesday morning before Magistrate Susan Honaker. Hinton was charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child under 12 and sexual abuse by a guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust.

Honaker set a $50,000 cash-only bond. She advised Hinton that first-degree sexual assault of a child under 12 carries a possible sentence of 25 to 100 years in prison. Sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust has a possible sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison.

The case began Monday evening when Detective-Sergeant S.A. Sommers with the Mercer County Sheriff's Department and deputies arrived at a Brushfork home to investigate a reported sexual assault of a child.

Sommers stated in his criminal complaint that he spoke with the child's mother along with Deputy N.J. Mason. She accused her live-in boyfriend, Hinton, and "indicated that the accused had been living with her and the victim in West Virginia for approximately two years."

The mother stated that the victim had told her that on several occasions, while the mother was gone, that Hinton would come into the bedroom and have her perform a sex act on him, Sommers said in his report.

"She (victim) provided additional details, stating that once in the bedroom he would have her shut and lock the door and on one occasion a sibling knocked on the door and the accused (Hinton) told the sibling he would come out once the victim had finished reading to him," Sommers said.

Sommers said that after speaking with the mother, he went to the home's front door "to attempt to speak with the accused."

"As I was knocking on the door, Deputy N.J. Mason walked around the trailer and found the end window open with footprints in the snow leading away from the trailer," Sommers stated in the report. "I requested Cpl. J.A. Conner and K-9 Buster to respond to track the accused."

About an hour and 42 minutes later, Hinton was found 3.3 miles away from the home on Littlesburg Road and taken into custody by Lt. L. B. Murphy, Sommers said.

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