Sexual battery charges dropped against alleged Crawford Road killer

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Julian Rios (Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
Julian Rios (Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

A man charged with murdering a teenager in York County in June appeared in court Thursday on charges of sexual battery.

Julian Rios, 20, appeared in the Williamsburg-James City County General District Court Thursday on charges stemming from an incident that occurred in August, while Rios was incarcerated at Virginia Regional Peninsula Jail.

The sexual battery charge came in the wake of Rios’ York County General District Court proceedings for second-degree murder, perjury and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Rios is accused of shooting and killing Austin Garrett Baxley, 18, of Portsmouth, on June 30, and leaving his body in a ditch on Crawford Road in the Yorktown Battlefield at Colonial National Historical Park.

Defense Attorney Paul Freeman did not comment on why the sexual battery charges were dropped Thursday, but confirmed that the charges were dropped by the prosecution.

The complainant, a VPRJ inmate, said he was in Rios’ cell on Aug. 19 when the assault occurred, according to court documents. The inmate was trying to help Rios with his case, and let him borrow a copy of the Georgetown Law Journal, court documents state. Rios was said to have grabbed the man’s groin.

Rios’ murder case is scheduled to be heard in York General District Court on Jan. 17.

Adrienne Mayfield contributed reporting.