WOODSTOCK — Another former member of the Strasburg Fire Department has been found guilty by a judge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
In a bench trial on Thursday, Judge William Logan convicted Bradly Markin and sentenced him to 90 days in jail, with 70 of those days suspended. That will leave Markin spending at least 20 days in jail.
During Thursday’s trial, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Louis Campola accused Markin, 21, of having sex with a 17-year-old girl on two occasions, one in December 2016 and another on Jan. 3.
Markin did not testify at the trial. The only two witnesses in the trial, Special Agent Joseph Root of the Virginia State Police and the victim, were called by the prosecution.
Root, who spoke with Markin in April 2017, said that Markin told him that he had met the victim at the bar where she worked. After the two met, they exchanged contact information, Root said.
“She contacted him again and they agreed to meet,” Root said.
Root said that Markin told him that he asked for the victim’s age and asked to see her ID. But the victim told Markin that she was 18 years old, told him that she did not have her driver’s license and had a false age on her Facebook profile.
Markin’s attorney, William Bland III, described that as a “fraud” the victim perpetrated against Markin.
“She lied to [Markin] because he asked (about her age), she lied about her driver’s license and she lied on her Facebook page,” Bland said.
But Bland’s defense centered on whether or not Markin’s alleged crime occurred within the statute of limitations.
Under Virginia law, the prosecution has to bring charges against a defendant within one year of the date the crime allegedly took place.
Bland noted that, during Fabian Sosa’s trial, the victim said that she believed that Markin, Nathan Hirschberg and Sosa had sex with her on Dec. 22, 2016. Had that been the case, Markin’s arrest on Dec. 28, 2017 would have occurred after the statute of limitations expired.
But Logan said that the paperwork in Markin’s case and Markin’s testimony to Root suggested that the sex occurred in January 2017, meaning that the statute of limitations would not have expired.
After Logan decided that the statute of limitations had not expired in the case, he found Markin guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Markin is the fifth former member of the Strasburg Fire Department who was sentenced for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. An affidavit that was unsealed in November accused all five of having sex with a 17-year-old girl, the victim in this case.
The Virginia State Police charged a sixth former department member, Chris Pangle, with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. But Campola dropped the charge against Pangle in April.
Markin resigned from the department earlier this year.