Jury renders verdict after 2 week trial in Valdez court
A Valdez jury convicted former Valdez man Derek Werder of 29 felony sex abuse charges and five assault charges Thursday afternoon after a trial lasting nearly two weeks.
Werder was accused in August 2011 of numerous counts of sexual abuse, involving underage children, dating back 10 years.
Members of the jury were offered free counseling by the court due to the graphic nature of the evidence presented, which included testimony of incestuous rape, ongoing domestic violence and allegations Werder kept a young woman as a virtual prisoner in his home, after the victim was removed from school when in the sixth grade.
His sentencing is set for October, 2012 in Valdez court under the guidance of Judge Eric Smith.