January 25, 2005
An 11 year-old girl was in court today. She faced the Fluvanna County man she says raped her this past December.
Ross Edward Stainback III is accused of forcible rape and aggravated sexual battery of a child. Because of the age of the child and the sensitivity of the case, Stainback?s preliminary hearing was held behind closed doors today.
"It's a closed hearing to protect the victims and the witnesses in this case. It's not an unusual thing at all," explained Lake Monticello Police Chief Thomas Boisvert.
The child, accusing Stainback of the unthinkable, told her side of the story to a judge. The child's mother, other family members and social services were also in the court room. Stainback's family was there too, all visibly upset.
"It's certainly a tragedy for all involved. This is an emotional situation for them and they are doing the best they can to get through the situation," said Boisvert.
Lake Monticello police say on December 29, the girl's mother walked in on Stainback lying in bed with her daughter. They tell us Stainback is a family acquaintance and had been in their home on other occasions. Police also say this investigation is ongoing.
"There have been some other things that have come up and I'm really not able to comment on any of those things, but there are other agencies involved with that as well," said Boisvert.
As police continue to investigate Stainback he will remain behind bars. The Commonwealth Attorney tells us he argued to keep Stainback held without bond. The judge agreed and certified the charges against him.
"Certainly they're very serious charges and we're going to work through the process within the system and see what prevails," said Boisvert.
The rape charge comes with a life sentence and the sexual battery charge can bring up to 20 years in jail if a jury were to find him guilty.
A grand jury will now decide if and when to set a trial date. That decision could come at the end of February.