Convicted arsonist pleads guilty to sex crimes
By PORTSIA SMITH
A Bowling Green man, once known locally as the “rainy-day arsonist,” will spend the next 10 years in prison on charges that he performed a sexual act on a mentally disabled teenage boy.
During a hearing in Caroline County Circuit Court Monday, Clyde William Wayland, 47, pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery and forcible sodomy.
Wayland accepted a plea agreement that sentenced him to 40 years in prison with all but 10 years suspended.
According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Tony Spencer, Wayland could have more prison time given to him in Spotsylvania County, where he was sentenced to eight years for four arson convictions. Another 32 years were suspended, and that suspended sentence could be revoked. He was given his nickname because most of the fires occurred in abandoned buildings or woods shortly after rainfalls.
In court Monday, Spencer said a plea agreement was offered because neither the male victim nor his family wanted to testify.
Spencer said the victim “was 19 at the time, but has a second- or third-grader mind.”
The victim met Wayland through a mutual friend, Spencer told Judge J. Howe Brown, who heard the case.
On April 27, Wayland invited the teen to go fishing at the Mattaponi River off of Stonewall Jackson Road in Caroline. Spencer said Wayland
provided the teen with so much alcohol that he could hardly stand up.
The teen told police he remembered stumbling toward the truck and passing out across the seat. When he woke up, he said his clothes were missing and Wayland was performing an act on him.
Spencer said the victim was so disturbed about what happened that repeatedly vomited. The next day, the victim located Wayland on a
camping trip in Stafford County with some other teenagers and attacked him, causing serious injuries, he said.
Defense attorney Eugene Frost pointed out that the sex charges against his client were not filed until after Wayland pressed two charges
against the teen for the attack. Those charges, aggravated malicious wounding and threat in writing, were dropped in Stafford General
District Court in October.
Judge Brown told Wayland, who had originally asked for a jury trial, that he was “getting substantially less” time than he would have
gotten had the case not been plea-bargained.
Wayland must also register as a sex offender, be on good behavior for 30 years and have no unsupervised contact with minors or the victim in this case.
Spencer said after court that Wayland “does have a suspended sentence in another jurisdiction and I believe he will get all of the suspended time imposed,” he said.
That case occurred in February 2001 when Wayland was convicted of the four counts of arson in Spotsylvania. He admitted setting nearly five dozen blazes in the area, starting back in the early 1970s. Wayland told investigators that he felt compelled to burn because he
was molested as a child.
In 1993, a man was convicted in Stafford County of committing sodomy on Wayland. Wayland was 11 when the offense occurred in the mid-1970s. The molestation happened in a vacant building.
Ironically, while serving time for the arson charges, Wayland was a key witness in a 2001 indecent liberties trial against a man who was
accused of a similar crime to what Wayland was convicted of Monday.