Man gets life in prison

WARREN – On the verge of picking a jury Monday morning, 59-year-old accused child rapist Charles M. Bland opted to take a plea deal instead that means life in prison.

Bland pleaded to more than 25 counts of the child pornography and six counts of rape against two girls, including one that carried the life sentence.

The Weathersfield man, would be up for parole after 10 years behind bars, but it’s unlikely he would be released from prison on his initial parole eligibility.

”I’m confident he won’t get out of prison. I would oppose any parole in Bland’s case. It’s my personal mission to see that he dies in prison,” said assistant county prosecutor Gabe Wildman. ”He’s a sexual predator with absolutely no self control.”

Wildman said the only reason he offered a plea bargain in the case was to spare his young victims the trauma of testifying in what was expected to be a weeklong trial. At the same time, Wildman said he also spared jurors hours of looking at graphic child pornography pulled from Bland’s home computer that showed youngsters in graphic sexual scenes.

Other kids, including the girls that Bland physically attacked or molested, were shown in what Wildman described as ”child erotica.”

”He took pictures of the younger sisters of his victims that could have been groomed as later victims,” said Wildman. ”Some of the kids … they couldn’t verbalize what they had been through or seen.”

Wildman accused Bland of befriending the children by saying he would tutor them, read them the Bible and entice them with educational science experiments. In one of his pleadings, Wildman says investigators found Bland would lure kids to his mobile home in the Suburban Trailer Park by showing them his experiments.

The kids called Bland ”doctor” or ”professor,” Wildman said.

Wildman pointed out that after he was arrested 15 months ago, Bland contacted a woman who lives in the park and wanted her to retrieve personal items, including his computer, before the computer was confiscated and turned over to agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification. Instead the woman turned the computer over to Weathersfield police who had the state forensic experts retrieve information to be used as evidence.

Police, BCI scientists as well as victims and counselors with Children Services and the Child Advocacy Center were scheduled to testify.