Culpeper Commonwealth's Attorney Press Release
Derick Ramone Gray, 20, of Culpeper was sentenced Monday to life in prison for sexually abusing a three-year old victim.
Gray was convicted on May 20 of Indecent Liberties with a Child, Object Sexual Penetration, and Aggravated Sexual Battery. He faced a total maximum sentence of life plus thirty years.
Culpeper Circuit Court Judge Susan Whitlock sentenced Gray to life in prison for the object sexual penetration, five years for the indecent liberties charge, and fifteen years for the aggravated sexual battery charge.
Gray was staying with the victim's family and was last seen by the victim's mother asleep on the couch the night of the incident. She later found Gray in her three-year-old child's room fixing the front of his pants, while her child was turned sideways on the bed with her underwear twisted up.
Culpeper Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Smith stated, "It is rare to catch someone in the act of a sexual crime against children. This case was different. "
Smith argued for a life sentence, highlighting the fact that the crime occurred in the victim's home, in her bedroom, and on her own bed. DNA evidence also linked Gray to the crime, with the victim's DNA present under Gray's fingernails.
Gray's defense attorney argued that the risk assessment performed by a psychiatrist indicated that this was a crime of opportunity, and that the Defendant was a low to moderate risk of re-offending. The defense asked for a sentence within the sentencing guidelines range. Smith stated that the so-called "low risk" of 7.5% chance of re-offending within five years was not a risk that Virginia should be willing to take when it comes to its children.
Culpeper Commonwealth's Attorney Megan R. Frederick praised the efforts of all involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case.
"This is a true victory for all the citizens of Virginia," stated Megan Frederick, Commonwealth's Attorney. "I investigated crimes against children for over a decade. Many of those investigations involved child sexual abuse. Tragedies such as this often go unpunished, as it is rare that the perpetrator is caught in the act of molesting a child. Mr. Smith and I had multiple discussions involving this case over the course of the last year. It was an easy decision to ask for a life sentence in this case. Mr. Gray molested a child, who will have to cope with that for the rest of her life. It is fitting that he should forfeit his freedom for the rest of his life."