The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Man imprisoned on molesting charges
A Woodford man will serve six years in prison related to two sex crimes against a 9-year-old girl.
Darrell Lee Sheets, 64, was sentenced to 30 years in prison with all but six years suspended in Caroline County Circuit Court Wednesday.
In July, Sheets pleaded guilty to one count of indecent liberties and one count of aggravated sexual battery.
Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Diane Abato said the young victim kept the secret for a year before telling her mother about it.
An investigation began in February 2012 when Sheets turned himself in to police two days after being confronted by the victim’s mother.
According to Abato, Sheets touched the girl sexually and made her touch him. She asked the judge to give him a 15 year sentence, which is higher than the sentencing guidelines.
Sheets told Judge Patricia Kelly the reason he did it was because he was curious.
The paternal grandfather of the victim in Sheets’ case said yesterday that this was not the only secret his now 10-year-old granddaughter had been keeping.
On Monday, Phillip Wayne Williams of Fredericksburg pleaded guilty in Spotsylvania Circuit Court to misdemeanor sexual battery in a similar offense against the girl. He received a one-year suspended sentence in a plea deal.
The grandfather, a Fredericksburg-area pastor for 27 years, said the girl is going through counseling to get through this, and a custody battle is in progress.
He said she is a strong girl and he encourages other young victims who are keeping secrets like this to come forward.
“People need to have the comfort to come forward and know that there is support,” he said.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419