Defendants in child sex abuse case held without bail
WOODSTOCK – A man and woman facing a list of charges related to sex offenses against a child were returned to jail and held without bond after their initial appearances in Shenandoah County Circuit Court Wednesday.
Authorities have accused Robert Lee Good, 48, of 115 Burkholder Lane, and Tina Hillsman, 35, of 2251 Old Valley Pike, both of New Market, of molesting an 8-year-old boy in 2011.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Louis Campola said the victim is now 11.
Judge Dennis L. Hupp appointed Michael A. Araj as Hillsman’s attorney and Bradley Pollack to handle Good’s defense after determining both defendants were eligible for court-designated attorneys.
The hearings provided new information on details of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the case.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Louis Campola told Hupp that the victim was in a counseling session when he began to “sort of relive” sexual acts performed on him by the defendants in 2011. The counselor called the Sheriff’s Office.
Campola said investigators obtained confessions from both defendants, although Pollack said in an interview after the hearing that Good is maintaining his innocence.
“My guy is saying this is just a kid making up a story,” Pollack said.
The defendants are charged with several counts each of aggravated sexual battery and indecent liberties with a child and one count each of child abuse and child endangerment.
Hupp rejected a request by Araj for a “reasonable” amount of secured bond after Hillsman’s landlord testified on her behalf.
Kathleen Hudson told Hupp that Hillsman has recently “turned herself around” from what had been a troubled life. In the last seven months, Hudson said, Hillsman has joined a church, found and held a steady job, made child support payments and attended counseling sessions focused on preventing drug abuse and sexual abuse and encouraging proper parenting methods.
Hudson argued that leaving Hillsman in jail could undo the recent progress she has made.
“It worries me she will lose her job,” Hudson said of Hillsman. “This job has given her the ability to pay for child support and move forward.”
Hupp said there would be no bond for Hillsman. State law carries a presumption of no bail for defendants charged with the kinds of offenses facing Hillsman and Good.
“These are very serious sex offenses and her record indicates she has a prior record of having sexual intercourse with a minor,” Hupp said of Hillsman.
Hupp scheduled new court appearances for Good and Hillsman at 9 a.m. Jan. 21.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org