Man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting three children

A Washington, D.C., man pled guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing three female children, all of whom were under the age of 12, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

Charles G. Pettis, 39, pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to charges of first degree child sexual abuse, attempted first degree child sexual abuse, and second degree child sexual abuse, all with aggravating circumstances.

According to evidence presented at the plea hearing, the defendant was living with his former girlfriend when he sexually assaulted the young females, all of whom were related to his former girlfriend. In one instance, Pettis entered the bedroom where one child, who was seven or eight years old at the time, was sleeping. Pettis told the child to get out of bed and pull down her pants.

Pettis then sexually assaulted her. Pettis also admitted to pulling down the pants of another child, who was 11 at the time, and sexually assaulting her. Finally, Pettis admitted that he sexually assaulted another child, who was nine or 10 at the time.

He faces a likely sentence of 10 1/2 to 37 1/2 years in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Sentencing is scheduled for July 21, 2011.