Hagerstown Woman Acquitted of Sexual Abuse Charges

- WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. - A Hagerstown woman is now free after she was acquitted in court Tuesday after she confessed to sexually abusing several young children over a six year period. 

On Tuesday afternoon a Washington County Circuit Court judge acquitted Barbara Williams on all charges. Three victim's mothers plus the detective in the case testified. 

"And even taking into account the testimonies of mothers verifying the time, place and opportunity. And one mother indicating that shortly after the molestation would have occurred her child began unfortunately showing some, some indication, some sexual behavior that were not appropriate for the age," said Brett Wilson with the Washington County State's Attorney Office. 

But the judge ruled that wasn't enough evidence to support Williams' confession.

"We're talking about children who are clearly too young to stand up for themselves and a crime that's of course not going to leave a mark, the level of corroboration as we did prove that she had the opportunity, she did provide the day care, she was in a custodial relationship," said Wilson. 

Prosecutors say they're frustrated with the outcome. 

"I know this was an uphill battle on the law," said Wilson. "But it doesn't make you feel any better when you lose and you know that other kids may be, may be, at jeopardy." 

As we've reported, Williams sexually abused four children between 2005 to 2011. All victims were only one to two-years-old at the time. 

In court documents Williams said she performed sexual acts on the victims but stopped after feeling guilty. There's currently no physical evidence to substantiate this case and the victims were too young to confirm her actions, officials say.

Williams' may be walking away from these sexual abuse charges but many community members hope parents will now look for a licensed day care provider who has more training and qualifications than a baby-sitter.

Licensed providers have to go through a background check which could help parents avoid putting their children in the wrong hands.

"You just have one that maybe was not licensed because maybe if she was licensed they would have found by going through the background check, by the fingerprinting to see maybe that wasn't the right person to be around children. You never know,' said Rocky Willis, President of the Washington County Child Case Association. 

Since she was acquitted this case is now considered closed.

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