By MELINDA WILLIAMS
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.