The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Pa. man given 14-year sentence in Stafford County sex case
A man who spent hundreds of hours carrying on a sexually explicit relationship with a Stafford County teenager was ordered Wednesday to serve 14 years in prison.
John Roger Boyd, 61, of Pennsylvania was sentenced in Stafford County Circuit Court to a total of 55 years with all but 14 suspended.
He had previously pleaded guilty to six counts of using a computer to solicit sex with a minor and two counts of reproducing child pornography.
According to evidence presented by Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen, Boyd met the girl in 2003 while their families were vacationing on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. The families developed a close relationship and the victim—now 19—and her siblings referred to Boyd as “Uncle Roger.”
The families vacationed together in St. Martin several times and at some point Boyd and the girl began communicating by computer chat and by email. The girl testified Wednesday that she spent hours at night chatting with Boyd, and often the chats became sexual in nature. They also exchanged nude pictures.
She testified that Boyd came to her Stafford residence in 2009 after telling her parents he had a job interview in Fredericksburg.
During his stay, the girl said, Boyd gave her sex toys and they spent time together naked in a hot tub, where she said he sexually molested her.
Boyd has denied ever touching the girl.
An investigation began in 2011 after the girl’s mother found a sexually explicit conversation between Boyd and her daughter on the girl’s computer. Boyd’s computers in Pennsylvania were later seized, and pictures of the victim and other underage girls were found.
The girl, who has now moved across the country, testified that she was manipulated by Boyd as a child and that the results have been devastating.
“It’s a daily struggle,” she said. “Some days I feel like I’m taking a step forward and some days I’m taking three steps backwards.”
Boyd’s attorney, Ghislaine Storr Burks, asked Judge J. Howe Brown for leniency. She pointed out that Boyd had no prior criminal record and said a long sentence at his age was akin to life sentence. “This is a man who went 60 years without even a traffic ticket,” she said.
Olsen argued for a long sentence, pointing out that Boyd traveled to Stafford to “further his fetish.” He predicted that as soon as Boyd gets out of prison, he’ll be back on a computer looking for a new victim.
Prior to being sentenced, Boyd made a statement in which he apologized to the girl, her family, God, his attorney and others. He said he was trying to help the victim when he lost control and “wound up off the road.”
Regarding his wife and friends, Boyd said, “I wish I could have been the man that all of you thought that I was.”
Judge Brown did not appear moved by Boyd’s apologies. The judge said he was particularly annoyed by Boyd’s claim that he was trying to help the girl.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404