Paul Smiths man found guilty of abusing girls

MALONE – A Franklin County jury on Monday found Paul Smiths resident Elwood J. Adams, 40, guilty of sexually abusing two underage girls.

Adams was convicted of two counts of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree. He faces up to 25 years in prison for each count. Because the two convictions are based on conduct with two different children, the sentences can be consecutive, so he could be sentenced to up to 50 years.

Adams sexually assaulted two girls, both of whom were under the age of 13 when the abuse took place. The abuse took place in the town of Brighton and went on for several years, state police said at the time of his arrest.

Adams was not related to the girls, Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne has said; he knew them through an acquaintance.

“Today’s verdict sends a strong message that the people of Franklin County do not tolerate crimes against children,” Champagne said in a press release issued Monday. “Hopefully, these victims can go on to lead happy and productive lives in spite of the horrors they endured.”

The trial began with a jury selection on April 9. The jury heard about two days of testimony before hearing summations Friday afternoon. They reached a unanimous verdict at 12:45 p.m Monday.

State police investigators Sean Finn, Jonathan Garrow and Timothy Woodruff worked the case.

Assistant District Attorneys David Hayes and Elizabeth Crawford prosecuted Adams, who was represented by John A. Piasecki.