W.V. Man Loses Appeal In Rape Of Family Member

CHARLESTON, W.V. (AP) - West Virginia's Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a Fayette County man facing a virtual life prison term for repeatedly raping a young family member.

James Whitlow received a 135- to 440-year sentence in 2009 after he was found guilty of 21 sex offenses.

The justices unanimously affirmed those convictions Monday, after Whitlow argued that trial testimony did not support all of the charges.

Whitlow also appealed his prison term as shocking to the conscience. The 41-year-old said that while he stole the child's innocence, she appears to be doing well in school.

The rejected appeal argued that Whitlow would have a better shot at parole if he had murdered the girl. The state Division of Corrections lists his earliest parole date as July 2142.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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