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Ex-Stafford County School Board member gets $100K bond in molestation case

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A former Stafford County School Board member, who is facing 111 charges involving child molestation, was given a $100,000 bond during a lengthy hearing Monday.

Thomas F. Villacres, 53, of Rockledge, Fla., was indicted by a Stafford grand jury earlier this month for alleged offenses that occurred between 1990 and 1996 when he was living in the county. He waived extradition from Florida and was recently placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

After hearing more than two hours of testimony and arguments in Stafford Circuit Court, Judge Sarah Deneke granted a bond with multiple conditions, including that Villacres be on electronic monitoring, remain in Virginia and be around no children other than his 15-year-old son.

The charges against Villacres stem mostly from his own statements.

As part of his job with the Defense Intelligence Agency, according to the evidence, Villacres admitted years ago to a sexual fixation on children during a security clearance procedure.

DIA special agent Brett Miller testified Monday that those statements were re-visited during a three-day series of interviews with Villacres starting March 5 at DIA offices in Reston.

Miller said Villacres told investigators that he has had a lifelong sexual interest in children and that his victims included several family members. He likes children between the ages of 4 and 10 and prefers girls, though some of the victims were boys.

Witnesses testified that Villacres told them his wife found out about his desires in the late 1990s and has been closely monitoring his interaction with children ever since. He denied any interest in child pornography.

The Stafford charges were filed even though none of the victims ever came forward with allegations.

Miller said Villacres told him that he “created opportunities” to have children undress and often rubbed ointment in their private areas as a guise to fondle them and become aroused.

Miller said Villacres estimated there were at least 20 children and between 150 and 200 occasions that he found sexual gratification by applying ointment or fondling them. The last time was about two weeks before the interviews, Miller testified.

Kelly VanKeuren, a social worker in Florida, testified that Villacres made similar statements to her during a subsequent investigation in Florida earlier this year. She said he told her he abused children in ways that they wouldn’t realize it had happened.

His admissions included touching a boy’s penis while he was sleeping, VanKeuren said. But the investigation turned up no known victims or charges.

Stafford Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen pleaded with Deneke to hold Villacres without bond.

“There is no way to release him and protect children,” Olsen said. “His compulsion is so strong that it will overcome any order a judge can enter.”

Defense attorney Peter Greenspun disagreed, pointing out there other than Villacres’ own statements, there is no real evidence against him.

Greenspun added that at least two of the victims named in the Stafford charges have denied being molested and noted that Villacres has no criminal records and stellar military and government work histories.

Deneke would not let Villacres return to his Florida home, but is allowing him to live with a relative in Aquia Harbour. He is forbidden from coming within 100 feet of any schools, playgrounds or swimming pools.

Villacres served on the Stafford School Board for eight years as the Garrisonville representative and was chairman in his last year in 2005. He was also involved in several other local organizations, including St. William of York Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts.

Villacres will be arraigned July 3 in circuit court, at which time a trial date will be set.

Greenspun estimated that a trial could last up to a month.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

 

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