PREA in the News

Caroline inmate, convicted of rape, faces 30 years
Richmond Times Dispatch - Frank Green, June 8, 2013 (Richmond, VA) - A Richmond man being held in a Bowling Green jail was convicted by a Caroline County jury this week in a brutal sexual assault against his cellmate last year.
The jury recommended a 30-year prison sentence for Chase Adam Marsh after convicting him on two counts of forcible sodomy and abduction. He will be sentenced July 23 by Judge J. Howe Brown.
The attack occurred May 1, 2012, in a cell at the Peumansend Creek Regional Jail, a 336-bed facility used by the cities of Richmond and Alexandria and the counties of Loudoun, Arlington, Prince William and Caroline. It also serves as a holding facility for the Virginia Department of Corrections.
Court records show Marsh, 29, was serving nine months after convictions in Richmond for identity theft. The victim, whose age was not available, was serving 22 months for credit card theft and credit card fraud in Loudoun County.
Diane Abato, deputy commonwealth’s attorney for Caroline, said the attack was particularly brutal and caused an unusual contusion. “I’ve prosecuted a lot of sex cases here and in Richmond, and I have never before seen an injury like this,” she said.
The trial began Monday and concluded Tuesday. “I’m really proud of my people in Caroline that they listened to the evidence and they convicted this man,” Abato said. “The evidence was not pleasant.”
Abato said the victim is openly gay. “I thought that (he) was so brave because he sat in a courtroom full of people he had never met and talked about his sexuality. He talked about this horrifying experience. ... He really did a good job.”
According to Abato, in addition to DNA evidence and the victim’s testimony, Marsh gave conflicting accounts about what happened to various investigators.
The jail does not permit any sexual activity, Abato said. She added that the facility is in full compliance with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act, and she has personally taught a training course there about investigating sex cases in jail.
“These guys did a phenomenal job,” she said of the law enforcement officers involved, adding that the incident was Marsh’s first sexual offense.
The jury acquitted Marsh on one of the three counts of forcible sodomy for which he was charged.

© Educorr 2013