Cedar Bluff man will serve 30 years behind bars for child rape

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Editor's Note: The attorney's office had requested a life sentence to be imposed by the request of the victim's mother. The court imposed a 50-year sentence, with 20 years suspended — Gross will serve 30 years behind bars. This sentencing is above the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines recommendation.

LEBANON, Va. (WJHL) — According to a release from the Commonwealth’s Attorney of Russell County, 29-year-old Thomas Scott Gross, Cedar Bluff, received a 50-year prison sentence on Wednesday after pleading guilty in May to raping a child under 13 years of age.

Gross will serve 30 years behind bars, with 20 years suspended, according to the release. He will register as a sex offender and be on indefinite probation upon his release.

The release notes that the charges stem from an incident that occurred between 2014 and 2015, and the rape was reported in July 2019.

The victim’s mother requested the court to impose a life sentence, but it was not imposed. Although the Commonwealth’s Attorney adopted the request to impose the life sentence, the court imposed 50 years — above the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines recommendation, the release states.

“This is a tragic case in which an adult took advantage of the victim because of age,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Zack Stoots. “No child should ever have to endure this abuse and hopefully the sentence imposed will deter further vile acts such as this one.”

Russell County Sheriff Steve Dye said that area law enforcement continues work to stop crimes against children.

“We will continue to work jointly with our community partners and citizens to stop the victimization of children in Russell County and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Dye said.

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