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Culpeper man gets life in prison

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region

A 20-year-old Culpeper man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of molesting a 3-year-old girl.

Judge Susan Whitlock Monday sentenced Derick Ramone Gray, who was convicted in May, to life for object sexual penetration. The judge added five years for an indecent liberties charge and 15 years for aggravated sexual battery.

According to Assistant Commonwealth Attorney David Barredo, Gray was staying with the victim’s family when the child’s mother caught him in the child’s bedroom.

The child’s DNA was found under Gray’s fingernails, according to court testimony.

“It is rare to catch someone in the act of a sexual crime against children,” said Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Tom Smith. “This case was different.”

Smith argued for the life sentence although the defense contended that this was “a crime of opportunity” and that Gray was an unlikely second offender.

Smith argued that even a low probability of a second offense was too great a risk to take at the expense of other children.

Culpeper Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan R. Frederick praised the efforts of all involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case.

“This is a true victory for all the citizens of Virginia,” said Frederick.

Donnie Johnston:


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