18-year-old pleads guilty to sex crime
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Aug 28, 2013, 12:58
COLONIAL HEIGHTS — An 18-year-old Colonial Heights man was convicted on Tuesday morning of aggravated sexual battery for an incident involving a 12-year-old girl.
Roger Lamont Thomas Jr. pleaded no contest to the charge, an amendment to what was previously a rape charge. Aggravated sexual battery with an individual younger than 13 is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a total of $100,000 in fines. This charge has no minimum required penalties, whereas a rape conviction of someone younger than 13 years old by an individual who is 18 years or older at the time of the offense mandates a minimum term of confinement for life.
Photographed texts between Thomas and the victim demonstrate that each person understood the age of the other individual. The victim is currently 13, but was 12 when the offense occurred in January.
In a previous testimony by the arresting officer in the Colonial Heights juvenile court in May, he stated that the victim had “said she had strong feelings for [Thomas] and didn’t want him to get in trouble.”
Court records say that the two met after Thomas began texting a number he found written on a sliding board near Shepherd Stadium.
Thomas, who was a junior at Colonial Heights High School, will be held at Riverside Regional Jail until his sentencing on Jan. 9, 2014.