- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2007

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — A former Ku Klux Klan leader sexually assaulted his 15-year-old adopted sister to punish her for sloppy housekeeping and rowdy behavior, the girl testified in court yesterday.

Gordon C. Young, 41, of Sharpsburg, pleaded not guilty to the charges in Washington County Circuit Court. He is married, with an adolescent daughter and a 7-year-old son.

Defense attorney R. David Pembroke said in his opening statement that the evidence would contradict the state’s case.

The accuser, now 16, said Mr. Young coerced her into performing oral sex on him twice in October in the basement of the house that his family shared with the girl and Mr. Young’s parents, who are the girl’s adoptive parents. The first assault was because the girl hadn’t thoroughly cleaned the basement, where Mr. Young and his wife slept, and the second was because she had yelled greetings to friends from the window of a car that Mr. Young was driving, the girl testified.

The Associated Press doesn’t name accusers sexual- assault cases.

The girl said she performed the sex acts under protest because Mr. Young, who stands 6 feet tall and weighs 240 pounds, had threatened to force her to comply.

“I was afraid of Gordon,” she testified.

The girl testified that after the second assault, she told a friend, her pastor and the police because “he said the next time I did something wrong, the punishment would be worse.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion told the jury of eight men and four women that Mr. Young’s parents adopted the girl in 2001 after her biological parents were declared unfit.

The girl testified that in September, about a month before the alleged assaults, Mr. Young’s mother signed a document granting him authority to discipline her. Afterward, she said, Mr. Young insisted that she take showers downstairs instead of upstairs where her bedroom was, “because he said he wanted to make sure I was keeping up with my hygiene.”

Mr. Young headed a group called the World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan that organized rallies at the Gettysburg and Antietam Civil War battlefields last year. He disbanded the group in November.

Judge John H. McDowell warned witnesses before the trial that any references they made to the Ku Klux Klan could result in a mistrial or a reversal of any verdict.

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