Grand jury indicts man charges with sexual assault, strangulation

FRONT ROYAL – A grand jury indicted a Warren County man this week on charges accusing him of sexually assaulting and choking a woman in September.

Basil John Chuppa, 40, of 497 Catlett Mountain Road, Front Royal, remains held at Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail on charges of aggravated sexual battery and strangulation. A grand jury indicted Chuppa on the two charges on Monday. A judge scheduled Chuppa’s next appearance in the Circuit Court for Jan. 14.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a sexual assault on Sept. 5, according to a criminal complaint written by Deputy M.E. Knowles. The alleged victim stated that she went to Chuppa’s residence on Catlett Mountain Road on the night of Sept. 2.

“She stated Chuppa became flirtatious with her,” the complaint notes. “She told him they were only friends. (Chuppa) then attempted to kiss her. She told him ‘no.’

“An altercation occurred and she fell to the ground,” the complaint goes on to state. “(Chuppa) then got on top of her. He pulled her breasts out of her shirt. Chuppa bit her on the neck and strangled her.”

The woman told authorities that Chuppa applied pressure on her neck restricting her ability to breath, the complaint states.

“She stated she fought back and was able to free herself,” the complaint states.

The alleged victim had multiple bruises on her body consistent with an assault. A forensic nurse examined the woman and determined the injuries were consistent with the alleged victim’s statements, the complaint notes.

A magistrate had Chuppa held at the jail without bond shortly after his arrest. The magistrate notes in the checklist for bail determinations that Chuppa turned himself into authorities after talking to investigators. The checklist indicates that Chuppa has felony and misdemeanor convictions. The magistrate indicates on the checklist that a presumption against bond applies to the charge of aggravated sexual battery.