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McCanless Sentencing Begins

Today, testimony started in the sentencing of a man in Black Mountain, convicted of an attempted sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a child.

On Friday, the jury found Steven McCanless guilty of those 2 charges.

Testimony began today with McCanless' step-sister, who told the court that he suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his step-father.

Defense attorneys told us Friday McCanless faces between 10 and 14 years for an attempted sexual assault two years ago in a Salvation Army store.

McCanless picked up a 7-year-old child there and witnesses saw him touch her in a suggestive manner.

McCanless was originally accused of five crimes against two little girls, but the jury only convicted him of two crimes against one child, all related to the incident at the Salvation Army story.

They deadlocked on a third charge, which could be brought back to trial later.

This morning his step-sister told the court he was deeply affected by the murder and rape of his sister in 1977, but she says he has never shown violence or inappropriate behavior of children she knows of.

A clinical psychologist who specializes in treatment of sexual offenders took the stand this morning and described three sessions he had with McCanless.

Following today's testimony, the judge is expected to hand down the sentence for is conviction on two felonies against a child.

Related Links
Child Sex Assault Deliberations
McCanless Found Guilty


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