The alleged ringleader in a Butte County child sex case has accepted a plea deal for the ongoing molestation of three girls.
Charles Richard Palmer, 34, pleaded guilty Thursday to continuous sexual abuse of a minor for each of the three victims and agreed to spend up to 48 years in prison. Another 27 charges were dropped in Butte County Superior Court.
Palmer and three others admitted to regularly molesting the girls, some as young as 9, starting in 2001. Palmer also was accused of beating and threatening the girls.
District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the plea means the now-teenage victims won't have to relive the trauma they suffered on the witness stand. Palmer's trial was scheduled to start on Dec. 3.
Information from: Chico Enterprise-Record,