WOODSTOCK — The trial of a Woodstock man accused of beating and sexually assaulting a woman was scheduled for next year by Judge Kevin Black on Wednesday.
Christopher Lawson, 28, is scheduled to be on trial March 14 and 15 in Shenandoah County Circuit Court. He is due back in court at 10 a.m. Jan. 19 to review questions for potential jurors in the case and on March 9 in preparation of the trial.
Lawson waived his rights to a speedy trial on Wednesday. The state's judicial system has suspended speedy trial rights as part of its precautions for the COVID-19 pandemic, and Black said there's a chance the precautions could remain when Lawson's trial is scheduled, given the recent rise in Delta variant cases.
Lawson is free on $10,000 bond and confined to home electronic monitoring at a Winchester residence. As part of his release conditions, he cannot have any contact with the alleged victim and cannot use social media or possess any weapons.
On Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty to the charges of malicious wounding, aggravated sexual battery, sodomy, rape and abduction. He is also facing a petty larceny charge.
The charges stem from a woman showing police a video that "depicts the victim being struck then falling to the ground where the suspect is observed over the top of her with blood on his hand."
The woman then told police Lawson dragged her up the stairs by her hair to a bathroom, where she removed her clothes and tried to clean blood off herself, the complaint states. There, the woman said, Lawson attempted to have sexual intercourse with her repeatedly before he stopped when she said no, the complaint states.
Lawson then grabbed a belt and began hitting her, leaving bruises on her back and buttocks, the complaint states.
The woman showed signs of emotional trauma as a result of the assault , and she said her jaw had been broken in two places and dislocated, the complaint states. The woman had to have surgery to attach metal plates and screws to her jaw, the complaint says.
The woman was taken to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for medical treatment, court documents state.