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Rodney Lewis Thompson pleads guilty - violating Virginia Code section 18.2-427 - Use of Profane, Threatening or Indecent Language Over Public Airways, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

June 18, 2009

For Immediate Release

Lynchburg, Virginia

 

 

In Lynchburg Circuit Court today, Rodney Lewis Thompson pleaded guilty to violating Virginia Code section 18.2-427 - Use of Profane, Threatening or Indecent Language Over Public Airways, a Class 1 misdemeanor. He received twelve months incarceration, with eight months suspended upon multiple conditions.

The plea agreement reached between parties stipulates that Thompson be on supervised probation for twelve months, have absolutely no contact with the victim or her family, not seek or obtain employment in law enforcement, and be of good behavior for five years. In addition, a two-year protective order was issued by the court making any contact with the victim by Thompson punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. While under the Protective Order, Thompson may not have a concealed weapons permit or possess firearms.

On May 28, 2009, Thompson was found guilty in Lynchburg General District Court of violating Code of Virginia section 18.2-60.3 – Stalking, after a five and a half hour trial. Thompson appealed that decision de novo to the Lynchburg Circuit Court. The Commonwealth presented evidence in May that Thompson had been engaged in several stalking behaviors since February 2009. Among these, Thompson admitted to watching the victim and keeping a log of people that went in and out of her workplace, following her throughout the City and surrounding counties, showing up uninvited as she ran errands, and confronting male customers at the victim’s workplace. The Commonwealth also presented evidence that Thompson sent volumes of threatening and profane text messages to the victim.

During the trial in General District Court, Thompson admitted that he told the victim that one day he would “snap” and “take her out” and anyone that might be around her. The victim testified that Thompson told her he would kill her and that her family would find her dead on the side of the road.

Stalking is a serious crime that occurs when someone engages in conduct that they know or reasonably should have known would place another in fear of bodily harm, sexual assault, or death. This kind of abuse can happen at the hands of a stranger or a former significant other. Virginia law protects a victim, whether she ignores the offender, tells him to leave her alone, or tries to appease him so he will go on his way. The sentence in this case places as many layers of legal protection around the victim as possible.
 

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