Man Sentenced in Louisa on Dozens of Child Sex Crimes - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Man Sentenced in Louisa on Dozens of Child Sex Crimes

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Joe Leake Joe Leake

Louisa County Sheriff's Office Press Release

Louisa – Today, Joe C. Leake, 36, of Montpelier entered pleas of guilty to abduction, forcible sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration, indecent liberties with a minor, four counts of production of child pornography and 25 counts of possession of child pornography. Speaking on the convictions, Louisa Commonwealth Attorney Rusty McGuire said “the Defendant stole the innocence of a child and he will spend the rest of his life in prison.”

Following the allegations of a child on March 8, 2013, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office started investigating Mr. Leake. The child told a shocking story and indicated that Leake took some pictures using his cellular telephone. Following the child’s allegations, the detectives executed a search warrant on the Defendant’s residence. Simply put, the residence looked like candy land. The house was stocked with candy, Chips Ahoy cookies and food that most associate with kids. The detectives also found numerous costumes in Leake’s closet. The costumes were of super heroes and other popular children characters. The most shocking find was a bag of under garments for little girls. Detective Patrick Siewert interviewed Leake. Leake denied the allegations of the child but indicated his DNA would be found on the under garments. He also told Siewert that his phone broke and he threw it away. He indicated he had witnesses to confirm nothing happened with the child.

Based on the allegations and Leake’s purported alibi the detectives aggressively sought clues to locate Leake’s cellular phone. Without the phone the trial would be his word versus the word of a young child. The next day, two key things happened in the investigation. Leake’s landlord called the police to tell them that Leake’s mother was just at Leake’s residence and asked her to retrieve a phone out of a vent. At the same time, Patrice Sandridge, from the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, learned of a phone call from Leake to his mother asking her to go get the phone. Detective Scott Renalds coordinated with the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office to execute a search warrant on the mother’s home and recovered the phone.

The digital evidence on the phone confirmed the allegations of the child. Based on Virginia’s tough child pornography laws the defendant was convicted of a life sentence without needing the child to testify in court. Leake was sentenced to 480 years in prison with all but 115 years suspended. Some of the time will run concurrently but this is tantamount to a life sentence. Before being sentenced, Leake showed some remorse by apologizing to the family of the victim and said “I wish the end of my life did not end like this.”

“Leake will not harm another child and justice was served in a Louisa courtroom. We are lucky to have laws that are tough on child predators. This allowed us to obtain convictions without forcing the child to experience the trauma again” said Adam Ward, Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, who prosecuted the case with McGuire.

“Mr. Leake is one of the worst predators I have seen in my career. We are thankful to the numerous agencies that came together to bring Leake to justice. The conscious act of a private citizen, who did not want to get involved, but who called the police significantly helped make this case” said McGuire.

The agencies involved were the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office, Sexual Assault Resource Agency (S.A.R.A) and the Office of the Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

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