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No bond in child sexual assault case

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

Although a 61-year-old Fairlawn man “emphatically” denied he sexually assaulted a child in January, a Pulaski County judge Thursday refused to set bond for him.

“These are very serious charges and I promise you I take them very seriously,” Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Marcus Long Jr. said of the case of Lawrence Willis “Larry” Musick. Musick is charged with sexual assault and taking indecent liberties with a child under the age of 13.

Under Virginia law, the charges carry a presumption that there are no conditions of bond that would reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance for trial or the safety of the community. It is the defendant’s burden to prove otherwise in a bond hearing.

In an effort to overcome that burden, defense attorney Everett Shockley pointed out that the male accuser told police in the second of three interviews that what allegedly happened between him and Musick “may have been a dream.”

However, Judge Long said that’s not the first time he has heard that in cases like Musick’s. “It’s funny how sometimes it was a dream on the part of the defendant and sometimes it was as dream on the part of the accuser,” he said.

Shockley told Judge Long his client has lived in the same home in Pulaski County since 1972, has no criminal history, and was placed on disability after years of employment at the Radford Arsenal and Radford Foundry.

Several defense witnesses testified they have no doubt Musick, if released on bond, would not pose a danger to the public and would appear in court when required. The witnesses included Musick’s girlfriend, son and the brother of Musick’s deceased wife.

Shockley contends the charges are a vendetta by the accuser’s mother. He says the mother “has a history of placing charges against people” and had an argument with Musick the night before the charges were filed.

Fleenor said he didn’t object to Shockley’s statements, but “I don’t want to try the case” during a bond hearing. He said the accusations about the mother are not relative to the issue of bond.

Long agreed “we’ve already gone off on a tangent.”

According to Fleenor, the child claims Musick touched him in appropriately and made him touch Musick inappropriately while he had been left in Musick’s care. The child did tell police it may have been a dream during a second interview, Fleenor said. However, in a third interview the child said he is “sure it happened.”

At the end of the hearing, Judge Long refused to set a bond for Musick, saying the defense had not presented evidence sufficient to overcome the presumption of no bond.

Comments

comments

2 Responses to No bond in child sexual assault case

  1. Casper

    February 23, 2014 at 9:31 am

    “Shockley contends the charges are a vendetta by the accuser’s mother. He says the mother “has a history of placing charges against people” and had an argument with Musick the night before the charges were filed.”

    I’ve seen a lot of bogus charges brought against people for spite. I don’t know anything about this case or the people involved but I have seen cases where family or neighbors bring the worst possible charges they can think of to cause hurt.

    If this is a true case then it is heinous but if not it can destroy a person.

    • Va Girl

      February 24, 2014 at 7:13 am

      If these charges turn out to be without basis, the mother will wind up with charges of her own.

      IMO the worst part IF the charges are baseless is what the child had to go through being questioned and being made to lie. This is a case where you hope this didn’t happen, but now if it didn’t something bad has happened anyway!

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