Onancock man submits Alford Plea in a plea agreement on sexual battery charge

May 31, 2024
Accomack County Circuit Court

By Linda Cicoira

A man was in the sauna in the men’s locker room at the Onley YMCA last September. He was naked and sitting on a towel, according to information presented Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court. The man had on headphones and was listening to music with his eyes closed. He felt something touch him and he swatted it away. A moment later, he felt a mouth on his sexual organ.

     The victim, who was identified by his initials and is not being identified due to the nature of the crime, went home and told his wife what happened. They reported it to the police, which led to a recovery exam.

      Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan said the gym had a camera at the entryway to the locker room. That recording showed 72-year-old John Lee Shreaves Sr., of Chandler Street in Onancock, entering and leaving the locker room at the time of the incident. Tests showed Shreaves could not be eliminated as a suspect, Morgan said.

Shreaves was indicted on a count of forcible sodomy of a helpless victim in February. In a plea agreement, he offered the Alford plea to a misdemeanor count of unlawfully committing sexual battery. The plea means he acknowledges that the evidence would convict him but he does not admit to being guilty.

Morgan said when police approached Shreaves about the incident, he said it was consensual. The prosecutor said it would have been a difficult case and this was the appropriate way to handle it.

Judge Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. accepted the plea and the agreement. He allowed Shreaves to remain on an unspecified bond and ordered a short form presentence report. Sentencing was set for Oct. 17.

He could be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail.

Coldwell Banker Harbour Realty

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