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Former foster parent gets prison in sex abuse case

The former owner of a North Las Vegas behavioral health services company was sentenced Thursday to four to six years on child abuse and lewdness charges for encounters with his adopted son.

A jury in November acquitted Marvie Hill of sexual assault charges relating to his foster son.

Marvie Hill originally faced 27 counts, including open and gross lewdness, child abuse and sexual assault with a minor. He was acquitted of four counts of sexual assault, the most serious charges levied against him, along with 10 counts of open and gross lewdness.

Just before being sentenced, Hill told District Judge Michael Villani that he was “still proclaiming my innocence.”

Prosecutors had alleged that starting in 2006, Hill abused his 13-year-old foster son.

“There was so much filth going on in this house,” prosecutor Michelle Fleck said. “It was so extensive.”

His lawyer, Bret Whipple, had asked the judge to sentence Hill to probation, saying the prosecutor exaggerated the conditions at the home.

Fleck said Hill’s relationship with the boys was “complex” and lasted into their adulthood.

Hill was convicted of one count of sexually motivated child abuse, a felony, along with 12 counts of open and gross lewdness, gross misdemeanor charges, against his adopted son.

Whipple said child protective services workers investigated the allegations involving Hill’s adopted son in 2008 and found them to be unsubstantiated.

Hill and Eddie Wormwood, who ran the behavioral health firm Unity Family Services, were both charged in 2012 with sexually assault of the foster child. After Hill’s trial, prosecutors dropped sexual assault charges against Wormwood.

Hill became a foster parent in 2005 and later earned a license to run a specialized group home where he looked after as many as 15 boys at a time, according to Fleck.

Last year, Unity Family Services pleaded guilty to felony Medicaid fraud for billing for services that were never given. A judge ordered the owners to pay $900,000 in restitution.

The Clark County Department of Family Services stopped placing children in Hill’s home in 2011 after receiving several complaints and Hill violated licensing regulations, Fleck said. All the children were removed from his home after criminal charges were filed.

Contact reporter David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker

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