Landmark Verdict: Jefferson County Man Convicted of Sexually Abusing Stepchild Faces Over a Millennium Behind Bars

CHARLES TOWN, West Virginia – A jury has convicted 64-year-old John Robert Bane, a resident of Jefferson County, for sexually abusing his 12-year-old stepchild in September 2022. The trial took place in Jefferson County’s historic courthouse under the oversight of Judge David M. Hammer, with Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory Jones leading the prosecution. Bane was charged with 26 felony counts, including first-degree sexual assault, sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, or custodian, and sexual abuse charges. After an hour of deliberation, the jury returned with a guilty verdict on all 26 charges. Bane now faces a potential sentence of 391 to 1,135 years in prison.

According to court testimony, the abuse was initially reported by an administrator at Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy, where the victim first disclosed the inappropriate touching allegations against Bane. The administrator promptly contacted Child Protective Services (CPS) and, following a subsequent disclosure by the victim, contacted the police. Jefferson County Prosecutor Matt Harvey commended those in positions of authority who reported the abuse, ensuring the perpetrator can no longer harm anyone.

CPS and the police arrived at Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy to investigate the claims. Bodycam footage from Bane’s testimony, where he denied the allegations and accused CPS of discrimination, was shown in court. Meanwhile, the victim was taken to Jefferson County Medical Center, where they received treatment and examination by a sexual assault nurse. The nurse, an expert witness in the trial, confirmed that the findings from the examination were consistent with the victim’s claims.

Days after the abuse was reported, Bane was arrested on September 9, 2022, following the issuance of an arrest warrant. Prosecutor Harvey expressed gratitude to the sheriff’s department, the victim advocate, and the Eastern Panhandle Elder Abuse Coalition for their invaluable support and assistance in investigating the case.

In another case, Richard Lee Tyndall Jr., a 45-year-old Maryland resident from Brooklyn Park, has been sentenced to five years in jail for his involvement in a firearms trafficking conspiracy in Mineral County. The sentencing occurred in Martinsburg’s federal courthouse, overseen by U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh. According to court documents, Tyndall stole 13 firearms from licensed dealers in Mineral County. He subsequently pawned off several of the stolen firearms and sold one to a confidential informant, leading to his arrest. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, along with the West Virginia State Police, conducted the investigation, while Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher prosecuted the case.

With the conviction of John Robert Bane for sexually abusing his 12-year-old stepchild, the individual responsible for causing fear and harm has been brought to justice. Bane’s guilty verdict on all 26 counts of abuse carries a potential sentence of 391 to 1,135 years in prison. In a separate case, Richard Lee Tyndall Jr. has been sentenced to five years in jail for his involvement in a firearms trafficking conspiracy in Mineral County. These cases highlight authorities’ commitment to protecting the vulnerable and holding wrongdoers accountable.