Bloxom man will serve 3 years for sexual abuse of a child

August 25, 2023
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By Linda Cicoira

A 30-year-old man, who was convicted two years ago in Accomack Circuit Court of the 2019 sexual abuse of a six-year-old girl, was finally sentenced Thursday. The case had been delayed due to COVID and had at least two continuances when the defendant changed lawyers.

Dillion Stanford Ward, of Bloxom, was given an eight-year prison term with five of the years suspended for aggravated sexual battery. He could have been sentenced up to 20 years and fined $100,000.

While retaining his innocence through an Alford plea, Ward pleaded guilty to the offense in a bargaining agreement with Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan, in 2021. Morgan agreed not to prosecute another charge, object sexual penetration, involving the child, in exchange for the plea. The maximum sentence for that crime is life in prison.

Defense lawyer, John Haugh, of Newport News, argued that there was no evidence directly linking his client to the charge and no proof that the child was injured physically or mentally.

Morgan said when the child was examined, she was found to have an “adhesion. That abrasion exists and the victim was seeing a therapist,” he added. “There is emotional harm.”

The prosecutor said offering the plea bargain was the best outcome because the girl did not have to testify and the defendant was held accountable.

     According to evidence, after being in the care of Ward, the child told her mother what Ward had done. Morgan said Ward texted an apology. “I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you, but I didn’t quite know how … I’m sorry. Good bye. I can’t believe myself after it happened.”

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