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Caroline man guilty of sexual battery

A Caroline County man accused of having sex with his highly intoxicated female roommate was convicted of aggravated sexual battery yesterday.

Andrew Joseph Gropp, 50, pleaded guilty to the single charge in Caroline Circuit Court as part of a plea agreement. One count of rape, object sexual penetration and three counts of sodomy were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea.

His guilty plea was an Alford plea, which means he does not admit guilt, but acknowledges that there was enough evidence for a conviction.

According to a summary of facts read in court by Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Diane Abato, the victim was renting a room in Gropp’s house in Lake Land’Or. Abato said the two did not have an intimate relationship nor were they related, but she did look at him as an uncle.

On Aug. 5, 2012, the then 27-year-old victim went to a pool party with some friends, but had too much to drink, Abato said in court. Her friends drove her home and put her in bed and let Gropp know the situation before leaving, she said.

When the victim woke up, she said Gropp was on top of her, having sex with her.

The now 29-year-old victim testified that the incident has changed her into a different person.

“I had grown to consider him family,” she said. “What he stole from me is pretty much irreplaceable. He stole my trust in humans, strength to move forward, my faith in life, my want for living and my happiness.

“What he gave me in return is weakness, pain, horrific flashbacks that never seem to stop, nightmares that just continue to get worse, a severely messed up mind that causes me to think no one cares a completely shredded, battered and torn soul from the depression that drags me down and humiliation from the mere thought of what happened,” she said in teary testimony.

Defense attorney Craig Evans said that Gropp claims the sex was consensual.

“If a woman is drunk, she can’t consent, so having sex with her is rape,” Abato said.

Gropp was transported to Pamunkey Regional Jail and is scheduled to have a sentencing hearing on Aug. 7.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and will most likely have to register as a sex offender.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419

psmith@fredericksburg.com

 

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