A Florida man who spent time in Rockingham County pleaded guilty last year to molesting a child was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday, during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg.
James Christopher Clement, 36 of St. Petersburg, Fla., previously pled guilty to one count of traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a person under the age of 18.
In addition to the sentence handed down yesterday, a judge required a lifetime of supervised release.
“Mr. Clement and others who travel across state lines to exploit children cause severe and lasting harm to their victims," United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “The punishment imposed in this case reflects the significance of that harm and demonstrates our commitment to holding child predators accountable.”
Prosecutors say Clement was a carnival worker who began dating the victim’s mother in 2010. Clement then moved into the family’s Rockingham County home, when he began an inappropriate relationship with the child. In November 2010, Clement took the victim to West Virginia and Kentucky. Prosecutors say he admitted to taking the girl out of state for illicit behavior.