Charges dismissed against Sarah Williams in Montgomery County
The Floyd Press
By Doug Thompson
A Montgomery County judge last week dismissed a sexual abuse charge against Sarah Elizabeth Williams of Willis after testimony and evidence revealed the complaining juvenile lied about dates he claimed he had romantic encounters with the older woman and that love letters he claimed were written by Williams were actually penned by his girlfriend.
The ruling could affect sexual abuse charges from the same juvenile against Williams in Floyd County.
The dismissal came after a handwriting analysis showed the letters the juvenile claimed came from Williams were not in her handwriting and evidence showed Williams was in New York caring for her dying father on several of the dates the juvenile claimed he was having sex with her in Virginia.
In testimony, the juvenile’s girlfriend admitted writing the letter and the juvenile backed down from his story on the alleged dates.
Some of the same evidence also showed the juvenile has a long record of criminal activity, including four charges of child pornography in 2010 plus other charges of breaking & entering, grand larceny, destruction of property, assault and attempting to elude police.
In a report submitted to the court, New River Valley Community Services Rebecca Hughes said the juvenile “has a significant history of court involvement in Radford and Montgomery County” and a “history of substance abuse including alcohol, marijuana, crack, cocaine and pills.”
The report noted the juvenile had changed schools several times and an evaluation in 2009 characterized him as “creating imaginary or fantasy situations in an attempt to escape from or avoid reality.”
The juvenile was jailed at the Montgomery County Juvenile Detention Center, where Williams worked at the time the charges were filed.
A Floyd County Grand Jury indicted Williams in December on four charges of sexual abuse against the same juvenile, based on information provided by him to the Floyd Sheriff’s Department and Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.
Evidence presented to the grand jury included the now-discredited love letters and the list of dates provided by the juvenile.
Jonathan Rogers, Williams’ attorney, told The Floyd Press that he hopes the Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office will move to dismiss the charges against his client in light of the judge’s ruling in Montgomery County.
Williams is scheduled for trial before a Jury on October 22 and Grayson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Douglas Vaught is handling the case as a special prosecutor for Floyd County because Williams is a volunteer on the county rescue squad. None of the charges involved her duties as a rescue squad volunteer and she is suspended form the squad pending outcome of the case. Vaught could not be reached for comment before the Press’ deadline this week.