Grand jury indicts Washington

Grand jury indicts Washington

Nathan Antonio Washington appeared in court for the first time on August 23, though he never left the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Washington, the Albemarle man arrested in connection with two sexual assaults previously linked to seven attacks by a serial rapist, appeared via video in the Charlottesville General District Court. At the hearing, city Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman filed a motion of nolle prosequi, meaning that his office will not continue to prosecute the lesser charges against Washington filed in General District Court.

After a grand jury ratified forcible rape charges against Nathan Antonio Washington, city prosecutors dropped lesser charges in General District Court.

Washington will instead face six charges, including forcible rape and forcible sodomy, in the Charlottesville Circuit Court after a grand jury indicted him on offenses stemming from the attack in the Willoughby subdivision in 2002.

"It’s a way to expedite the trial process by avoiding the preliminary hearing," city spokesperson Ric Barrick says about Washington’s appearance in General District Court. "That was a move that was more administrative than anything else."

While Washington has been charged in only one sexual attack in the city, Chapman said in a written statement released August 22 that his office expects to request additional charges against Washington in the remaining four sexual attacks in the city. These attacks were previously linked to one person, and officials have already said that Washington is a "suspect" in these cases.

Barrick says that Washington does not have a bond hearing scheduled in the city. His next scheduled court appearance, his first in Circuit Court, is set for August 31, according to Barrick. It is unrelated to his bond, Barrick says, though he declined to discuss the subject of the hearing. "It’s not something that the Commonwealth’s attorney wants made public yet," he says.

County officials say that Washington is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on October 11. He has been charged in Albemarle County with attempted rape, breaking and entering and attempted sodomy stemming from a sexual attack on Webland Drive in 2004.

Previous coverage:

Rapist suspect tried in the media [August 21 and 24]

County man arrested in two sexual attacks [August 14 and 16]

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