Melfa man sentenced in 2020 rape

ACCOMACK CO., Va. – A Melfa man has been sentenced for raping a woman back in 2020.

On Wednesday, 48-year-old George Townsend was sentenced by an Accomack County Circuit Court judge to a total of 12 years and 10 months in the Virginia State Penitentiary. This comes after Townsend’s September 2021 conviction of rape. We’re told Townsend was found guilty of the rape, which was facilitated by the victim’s incapacity, but the jury declined to find him guilty of a count of sodomy.

The case presented at trial reportedly showed that the victim attended a party at the American Legion in Pocomoke City on the evening of March 13, 2020 with her friend. The victim, her friend, another male individual, and Townsend all left the party after the victim had consumed alcohol and became ill. The victim and her friend believed that they were leaving to go home, but Townsend allegedly suggested that the group go to Steamers on Chincoteague Island. When the group arrived at Steamers, the friend and other male individual went into the restaurant, leaving the victim and Townsend with the car, expecting that they would join them in the bar. When Townsend did not join the others in the restaurant, the victim’s friend went outside and discovered that the vehicle with Townsend and the victim had left. The friend tried to contact Townsend more than 80 times in an attempt to locate the victim and determine where the two had gone.

The victim testified that she felt intoxicated and that Townsend drove her to a trailer where another man was present. She said that she fell asleep shortly after arriving at the trailer and woke up to find her clothes off and Townsend performing a sex act on her. She insisted that he stop and said he handed her clothes to her and she went to the bathroom and got dressed. When the victim came out of the bathroom, she asked Townsend to take her to her friend. He then reportedly took the victim to her residence in Maryland, where the friend was asleep in his vehicle, and then promptly left her down the street.

The victim filed a report with the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office, and Townsend initially denied any sexual contact with her. The interview with Townsend, which was over 45 minutes in length, was playing for the jury, where he repeatedly changed his story and then suggested that any physical contact with the victim was consensual. Testimony by a forensic scientist showed that analysis of the evidence revealed Townsend’s DNA was present on and inside the victim.

The judge also noted that in her victim statement, the victim noted that the incident had led to the loss of her job, friends, and high performance in school.

Categories: Crime, Local News, Virginia