The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Louisa man, 36, gets 115 years in prison
A Louisa County man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being sentenced to 115 years in prison for sex crimes against a 10-year-old girl.
Joe C. Leake, 36, of the Montpelier area of Louisa, pleaded guilty to abduction, forcible sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration, indecent liberties with a minor, four counts of producing child pornography and 25 counts of possession of child pornography in Louisa Circuit Court Thursday.
Leake was sentenced to 480 years in prison with all but 115 years suspended.
Leake “stole the innocence of a child and he will spend the rest of his life in prison,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire.
The investigation began in March after a 10-year-old girl and her mother reported to police that a family acquaintance had offered to take the girl shopping on March 7, but instead took her to his residence on Windyknight Road, according to police reports.
Once at the residence, the victim told police a number of crimes occurred at the home.
McGuire said the child told a story and indicated that Leake took some pictures using his cellphone.
When detectives searched Leake’s home, McGuire said they found something they didn’t expect.
“Simply put, the residence looked like candy land,” he said. “The house was stocked with candy, Chips Ahoy cookies and food that most associate with kids. The detectives also found numerous costumes in Leake’s closet. The costumes were of superheroes and other popular children characters.”
But the most surprising find, he said, was a bag of undergarments for little girls.
Louisa Detective Patrick Siewert interviewed Leake, who denied all of the allegations made by the girl.
He told Siewert that his cellphone broke and he threw it away and that he had witnesses to prove nothing happened with the child.
Without the phone, McGuire said the case would be his word against the word of a young child, but the case took a turn when police received a call from Leake’s landlord.
The landlord told police that Leake’s mother was at Leake’s home and retrieved a cellphone from a vent at Leake’s request.
Police did a search at his mother’s home in Fluvanna County and located the phone, which confirmed the girl’s story.
“We are lucky to have laws that are tough on child predators. This allowed us to obtain convictions without forcing the child to experience the trauma again,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Adam Ward, who prosecuted the case with McGuire.
Before being sentenced, Leake apologized to the family of the victim and said “I wish the end of my life did not end like this.”
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419