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Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (Hon. Michael L. Rankin, Trial Judge)

Argued December 5, 2000

This is an appeal from convictions after a jury trial of one count of first-degree cruelty to children *fn1 (against victim V.B.), *fn2 four counts of second-degree cruelty to children *fn3 (against victims M.M., T.S.M., V.B., and L.B.), and two counts of simple assault *fn4 (against victims T.S.M. and C.B.), the lesser included offense of the aggravated assault *fn5 charges in the indictment. Several of appellant’s convictions were for the lesser included offenses of the charges on which appellant had been indicted. Appellant was acquitted of one count of second-degree cruelty to children and one count of aggravated assault. The convictions stemmed from the physical abuse over the course of approximately five months of the six children of appellant’s wife, Vera McCloud, three of them his own and three stepchildren. The first-degree cruelty conviction and one of the second-degree cruelty convictions arose from a specific incident on November 11, 1997, in which appellant punched his six-year-old stepdaughter V.B. in the leg, breaking her femur. Except for the November 11th incident, the children’s testimony was corroborated by an adult eyewitness.

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