A Huntly man charged with 22 counts of sexual abuse crimes was sentenced to 20 years in jail — on three counts of intercourse with a child under 13 — Tuesday morning (May 27) in Rappahannock County Circuit Court.
A sizeable crowd packed the courtroom Tuesday morning for 49-year-old Ray Anthony Williams’ sentencing, including members of the West Virginia chapter of the Bikers Against Child Abuse. The international motorcycle club’s members, attend court hearings around the country, often riding out to escort the victims from their homes, in an effort to help young abuse victims feel safe.
Summarizing evidence for the court, Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff reiterated that Williams, beginning in July 2007, had sexual intercourse with one of his daughters “two to three times a week” after the other children had been sent to bed. The abuse began when she was 11, Goff said, and continued through June of last year.
When questioned by Capt. J.C. Welch, then the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) chief investigator, Williams admitted to the charges, but claimed he was the victim and that his daughter “made him do it.”
Williams’ daughter read aloud a brief, powerful statement to the court prior to his sentencing. “A father is supposed to take of his children and be the reason they smile. You are the reason I cry myself to sleep at night . . . Because of you, I can’t meet anyone and immediately be comfortable.
“I used to be afraid of you,” she continued, her voice cracking but never breaking, “but now all I see is a weak man. Now you’re walking in my shoes . . . I am a survivor . . . You may have taken something from me I can never get back, but I’ll sleep better knowing there’s one less monster out there who can hurt an innocent child.”
As part of a plea agreement, the other 18 felony charges — including incest, aggravated sexual battery and intercourse with a child under 13 — were dropped. Goff asked Judge Thomas A. Fortkort to sentence Williams to 65 years (with 40 suspended) — an active incarceration period of 25 years, and essentially a life sentence.
“This was a shocking crime that lasted many years,” Goff said. “The extent of the abuse is unforgivable . . . He essentially reduced his daughter to a sex slave. Justice requires that this man be punished . . . I would ask that you consider the gravity of what he’s done.”
Amanda Zadrozny, one of Williams’ defense attorneys, admitted the seriousness of the charges, but asked Fortkort to consider a lighter sentence (15-16 years) in light of Williams’ mental limitations (his IQ, Zadrozny reported, tested out at 57). “He’s not a predator,” Zadrozny insisted.
“This was not an isolated incident,” Goff responded. “This went on for years and years . . . And he still blames the victim. He’s still a danger.”
Williams also spoke to the court, apologizing for his actions and asking for forgiveness. “I won’t do nothing to nobody ever again,” he twice insisted, “until the day God takes me.”
“The Lord may be your salvation, but these are very, very serious charges,” Fortkort replied. With that, he sentenced Williams to 50 years on each of the three rape charges (to be run concurrently, with 30 years suspended) and placed Williams on supervised probation “for the rest of [his] life.”
One other sentence was handed down Tuesday morning, as 22-year-old James Robert Williams pleaded guilty to violating his probation after failing to report to his probation officer.
The Chester Gap resident, who also tested positive for marijuana, asked for his probation to be relocated to Warren County (Front Royal); if it were held there, he would no longer have transportation problems and would properly report. He also apologized for his behavior and vowed to do better.
Stefanie Spicer, Williams’ probation officer, said she hadn’t seen Williams since he was placed on probation on Jan. 13. Spicer said probation is normally handled by county of residency, but that, if Williams reported in and showed proof of working in Warren County, his probation could potentially be transferred as a courtesy.
“You’re still a young man, but these are stupid things that you’re doing,” Fortkort said. He then followed Goff’s recommendation and sentenced Williams to 30 days in jail (with credit for time served) and placed him on an additional year of supervised probation.
Jeremy Dylan Newcamp, 19, of Castleton, was originally scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning on one count each of assault and battery, grand larceny and entering a structure with the intent to commit larceny, as well as unlawfully possessing a firearm; his hearing was postponed to July 14.
RCSO investigator Shawn Walters responded to a complaint in Amissville last Friday evening (May 24), where police say they found eight adults and four minors in possession of an undisclosed amount of marijuana.
As a result, four unnamed minors and Woodville resident Hunter Shane Meredith, 18; Washington resident Evan Thomas Espinola, 22; Louisa resident Joshua Lee Hess, 21; Sperryville’s Toby Robertson Bridge, 18; and Amissville residents Christopher Ryan Guevara, 21, Richard George Pratt, 18, and Edwin Abdon Garcia, 18, were all charged with possession of marijuana.
The next night (May 25), Deputy M. Dodson stopped a vehicle on U.S. 211 near Battle Mountain Road, and charged the driver — 20-year-old Ian Patrick Burke of Herndon — with underage possession of alcohol and possession of marijuana.