Update, 11:25am Friday: Christopher Dumler, the Albemarle County Supervisor whose arrest for forcible sodomy shocked the community this week, will be released on $50,000 secured bond following a hearing in General District Court this morning.
Dumler was arrested late Wednesday after a woman came forward October 16 with allegations of forced anal intercourse on October 4, according the arrest warrant.
With Dumler watching via videoconference from the Albemarle Regional Jail, his attorney, K. Andrew Sneathern of the Court Square firm Sneathern & Lhospital PLLC, appeared alongside Fluvanna County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey W. Haislip in front of Judge William G. Barkley at 11am Friday with agreed-upon terms: $50,000 secured bond, no contact with the alleged victim or her family, no alcohol, and the forfeit of his concealed carry permit.
“I think under the circumstances, that’s appropriate,” Haislip told reporters outside the courthouse. He said it’s standard procedure to have a prosecutor come in from outside the area when a county official charged with a crime, but it’s meant he’s had only about 24 hours to review the case. “I’m looking forward to talking with investigators and meeting with the victim going forward,” he said.
Dumler will next appear in front of Judge Barkley for a preliminary hearing December 13.
Here’s the original story, posted Thursday:
Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher Dumler, the 27-year-old Scottsville resident and youngest Supervisor in the county’s history, was arrested yesterday on charges of forcible sodomy—in this case, alleged forced anal intercourse—a felony offense punishable by up to life in prison. According to the Albemarle County Police Department’s press release, they began an investigation in conjunction with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office after an alleged incident on October 4, 2012, and Dumler was arrested Wednesday, October 17. The victim in this incident was known to Dumler, the release says.
Dumler appeared in Albemarle County General District Court Thursday morning via video conference from the Albemarle Regional Jail for a bond hearing. Though Dumler’s girlfriend and another friend said they were prepared to post bond for him, Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman said he needed to review the case further, and asked to reschedule the bond hearing for within a day or two once Dumler had hired an attorney. Ultimately, the court settled on 11am Friday. Fluvanna County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey W. Haislip has been named as a special prosecutor for the case.
A preliminary hearing on the charges was scheduled for December 13.
Colonel Steve Sellers of the Albemarle County Police Department said the investigation began when a report was filed October 16, and that Dumler was formally charged after reporting to county police headquarters Wednesday night.
“This is an ongoing criminal investigation, and just because he was charged does not mean we have stopped investigating,” Sellers said.
Lee Catlin, assistant to County Executive Tom Foley, said a felony conviction would force a supervisor out of office, but until then, voluntary resignation would be the only way Dumler would vacate his seat. If he does step down, said Catlin, the remaining supervisors would vote on an interim who would serve until a permanent replacement was elected by special or general election.
According to Virginia state law (Code of Virginia 18.2-67.1), an accused is guilty of forcible sodomy if he engages in cunnilingus, fellatio, anilingus, or anal intercourse with a complaining witness, whether his spouse or not. The law states that the act is accomplished against the will of the complaining witness by force, threat, or intimidation, or through use of the witness’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness.
Forcible sodomy is a felony punishable by up to a life in prison, with a term no less than five years. If the victim is under the age of 13 and the offender is over 18, punishment includes a minimum term of confinement for life.