Man pleads guilty to sexually abusing sons

A Strasburg man charged with aggravated sexual battery against a minor pleaded guilty Tuesday morning (Jan. 28) in Rappahannock County Circuit Court.

Jerry Russell Bragg, 48, was previously charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery, but, as part of a plea agreement with Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff, one charge was dropped and another amended to misdemeanor sexual battery.

In a written statement submitted to the court, Goff said that between Jan. 1, 2000 and Dec. 31, 2001, Bragg molested two of his sons at his home in Amissville. Capt. J.C. Welch of the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Bragg on June 20, 2012 — an interview in which, according to Goff’s statement, Bragg admitted the abuse began when each boy was “around 10 or 11.”

Bragg is the biological father of both boys. According to a statement submitted to the court, the abuse continued until 2007, when the boys were 16 years old. Bragg is scheduled to be sentenced April 22.

Chester Gap resident Chris Adam Foster also pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully being on school property after being convicted of a sexually violent offense. Summarizing evidence for the court, Goff said Foster was convicted of aggravated sexual battery against a minor under 13 in Warren County in 1992.

As part of that conviction, the 46-year-old Foster was forbidden from entering school property. However, Goff said Foster called Rappahannock County High School on May 24, and asked to speak with principal Michael Tupper. Goff said Foster asked permission to attend the high school graduation ceremony to see his son graduate, although Tupper never called him back.

Foster attended the ceremony anyway, Goff said; he was quickly recognized and detained by several RCSO deputies. Foster said he had an agreement with previous superintendent Bob Chappell to be on school grounds, but no record of such an agreement was found.

After hearing the evidence, Judge Herman A. Whisenant agreed to follow the plea agreement submitted by Goff and Foster’s defense counsel, Mark Bailey. He sentenced Foster to 12 months in jail (all suspended), imposed a $2,500 fine ($2,000 suspended), placed him on two years of supervised probation (with the special condition that he not be allowed on school property) and ordered him to complete 40 hours of community service within six months.