The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Man faces 20 years for trying to defile delivery woman
BY KEITH EPPS
A Spotsylvania County man is facing a 20-year prison sentence for an encounter that sent a woman pizza-delivery driver fleeing his home in fear last year.
Donald J. Gannon, 45, was convicted Monday in Spotsylvania Circuit Court of abduction with the intent to defile.
That charge carries a minimum penalty of 20 years in prison, which is what the jury recommended after brief deliberations. The jury was not aware of the possible sentence when finding Gannon guilty.
Judge Joseph J. Ellis will formally sentence Gannon on Sept. 24. The judge can reduce the amount of time Gannon has to serve, but cannot give more than the 20 years.
According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Tom Shaia, Gannon ordered a pizza from Domino’s on Nov. 19 of last year. He later called the pizza company to complain that he didn’t receive a receipt when the pizza was delivered.
The victim, now 28, went to Gannon’s apartment in the Breezewood area the next day to deliver the receipt. The victim was not the original delivery person.
She testified that Gannon told her she was “hot” and said he was “going to do things to you that your boyfriend would never do,” among other things.
He then grabbed her by the arm and tried to pull her into his apartment, the woman said.
The woman said it took three tries to free herself from Gannon. She ran down the stairs, got into her vehicle and sped back to work.
Her manager called the Sheriff’s Office after figuring out why the woman was so upset.
Gannon was initially charged with simple assault, a misdemeanor. That charge was later dropped and the much more serious abduction with the intent to defile charge was filed in March.
Defense attorney Robin Krueger said that while Gannon shouldn’t have touched the woman, the charge against him was “outrageously excessive.”
Gannon, who had no prior criminal record, didn’t testify Monday, but Krueger said he never moved the woman, his apartment door was closed when he touched her arm and he didn’t pursue her when she ran off.
“There simply is no evidence that he intended to do anything to her,” Krueger said. “If he had wanted to, he would have done it.”
The victim testified that the incident so traumatized her that she eventually lost her job and now has trouble trusting strangers.