Defendant acquitted in child molestation case
WOODSTOCK – A Circuit Court jury Friday acquitted a man accused of molesting a young girl at a residence in Mount Jackson in early 2014.
The jury of eight men and four women delivered their verdict at 6:45 p.m. after about 45 minutes of deliberation.
The defendant, Jeremy Martin Stottlemyer, was charged with aggravated sexual battery of a child less than 13 years old and sexual penetration with an object.
The jury’s verdict came after a trial that lasted all day and included about 1 1/2 hours of testimony by the victim.
Stottlemyer, who began the day as a prisoner at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail, entered the courtroom at 9 a.m. dressed in a white shirt and dark pants.
The girl, who testified in the afternoon after jury selection, gave sometimes conflicting and uncertain answers under questioning from Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Louis Campola and Assistant Public Defender Peter McDermott, who represented Stottlemyer.
The girl told Campola that Stottlemyer, at the request of another adult, had accompanied her into the bathroom of the residence and molested her after she had removed her clothing to relieve herself.
“How did that make you feel?” Campola asked her.
The girl paused before answering: “I was mad he did that to me.”
The girl testified that Stottlemyer told her not to tell anyone about what he had done before the two left the bathroom.
The victim said she told her cousin, a 12-year-old girl, about the incident in November 2014. The indictments against Stottlemyer place the date of the offense between Jan. 1, 2014, and March 1, 2014.
Campola asked her why she waited until November to speak of the incident.
“Because I forgot, and I just remembered it,” she replied.
Under questioning by McDermott, the girl said she could not remember the day, week, month or time of day of the alleged incident.
McDermott also sought to cast doubt on the girl’s age at the time of the incident. In opening arguments, his co-counsel, Assistant Public Defender Pierre Greene told the jury that the girl was 5 years old at the time she reported the incident and 3 when it happened. Campola asserted she was 6 years old at the time of the incident.
The girl testified that she “kind of” remembered telling other adults in the house what had happened after she emerged from the bathroom with Stottlemyer.
Greene told the jury in opening arguments that other adults in the house would testify that the girl did not speak to them about anything amiss when Stottlemyer had accompanied her to the bathroom.
“What’s undisputed is that she never said anything about this to anyone until November 2014,” Greene told the jury.
Greene added: “We’re confident you’ll find that not only didn’t any of this happen, it couldn’t have happened, and you will find Jeremy Stottlemyer not guilty.”
The girl’s mother watched her daughter as she testified and escorted her outside after she finished testifying.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org