NORTON, Va. (WJHL) – A Norton man was sentenced after pleading guilty to taking indecent liberties with a child while in a custodial relationship.
According to a release from Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp, Vernon Reeves was sentenced on October 16 after pleading guilty in January to four charges of indecent liberties with a child.
The release says the circuit court sentenced Reeves, 65, to ten years with six suspended. Reeves will spend an active term of four years in prison.
Reeves’ charges stem from a report received by the Norton City Police Department in August 2019. An investigation found that between May and August 2019, “Reeves made unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances towards a 15-year-old female.”
Investigators found that Reeves had rubbed the victim’s inner thigh and licked her ear, while also proposing to perform sexual acts upon her at least four times, according to the release.
According to the release, the victim was able to record one of the incidents and turn it over to investigators. Reeves denied touching her inappropriately but did not deny making the comments.
Reeves referred to the comments as “trash talk,” according to the release.
The release says Slemp asked the court that Reeves be sent to prison during Reeves’ sentencing hearing.
The defendant’s conduct is outrageous. It’s far more than a simple misunderstanding or trash talk. His words and actions amounted to grooming this child for sexual purposes. He understood what he was doing and that it was wrong,” Slemp said. “He should have known better and he did know better. He caused real harm and betrayed a child’s trust. For those reasons, I ask that the court to send him to prison so that he cannot do this again to any other children.”
Reeves was taken into custody and remains at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail at Duffield before being transferred to the Virginia Department of Corrections.