May 4, 2006
A Fluvanna County man accused of raping and sexually abusing an 11-year-old Lake Monticello girl has entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Ross Edward Stainback III entered an Alford plea to the charges against him. A trial was scheduled to begin this morning, but Stainback said he just didn't want to take his chances with a jury. So he entered an Alford plea and a judge pronounced him guilty. Prosecutors say they did not negotiate a sentence in exchange for his plea today. They only agreed not to press any further charges.
According to Wikipedia.org, an Alford Plea is a plea in which "the defendant does not admit the act and asserts innocence, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty."
The defense said they would have argued that the child initiated the sexual contact.
The prosecution would have presented several witnesses including the victim who would have testified she was raped, as well as her mother who was a witness to the abuse in December 2005.
“He entered an Alford plea which mean he understands that there is enough evidence to convict him but he still has not taken responsibility and is actually blaming the victim for what he did to her and I think that will be important in sentencing as well,” said Fluvanna County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Haislip.
Stainback could face up to life in prison for rape and an additional 20 years for sexual battery.
Prosecutors say they did not negotiate a sentence in exchange for his plea today, they only agreed not to press further charges in this case.
Stainback is scheduled to be sentenced in July.