Court indicts man who allegedly raped, strangled woman in parked car in Norge

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christopher-johnson
Christopher Rashad Johnson (Courtesy VPRJ)

A rape and strangulation case against a James City County man has resurfaced in a higher court, a little more than a month after prosecutors dropped the same charges. 

Prosecutors dropped rape and strangulation charges against Christopher Rashad Johnson in the Williamsburg-James City County General District Court in February, only to bring them back in circuit court through an indictment March 15, court documents show.

The charges stem from an Aug. 17 incident in which Johnson allegedly choked, punched and then raped a woman in a quiet area at the end of Cokes Lane in Norge, according to police reports and court documents.

A grand jury found evidence to support the charges against Johnson March 15. He was direct indicted into circuit court, and is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday to determine what attorney will represent him. A direct indictment means the case has bypassed the preliminary hearing in a lower court, and will go straight to trial.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim previously dated Johnson, and agreed to meet with him in Williamsburg on Aug. 17. They went to a laundromat, Cook Out drive-thru and the Norge Farm Fresh, where they bought Black & Mild cigars and alcohol.

After going to the Farm Fresh, Johnson had the victim drive to the end of Cokes Lane, where they kissed. The victim allowed him to kiss her, but said she did not want to have sex with him when he asked her, the criminal complaint said.

The complaint states Johnson then choked the victim until she became lightheaded, punched her in the left cheek, which stunned her, and turned her over. He then raped her, the criminal complaint says.

Prosecutors said Feb. 23 they intended to drop the charges and then direct indict Johnson into circuit court on a grand jury day, March 15.

At the hearing, prosecutor Laura McVay requested the case be continued until March 14, so Johnson would not be released from the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail in the interim, after the charges against him were nolle prossed. When charges are nolle prossed, prosecutors agree not to pursue the charges unless new evidence comes to light to support them.

Judge Colleen Killilea denied McVay’s motion to continue the case, but granted a motion to nolle pross the charges Feb. 23.

Johnson is currently incarcerated on a felony probation violation in New Kent, according to court records. A New Kent Circuit Court judge found he had violated his probation on March 6 and sentenced him to six months in prison.

The probation violation stems from a guilty plea on an abduction charge in 2011. Johnson was also charged with rape, but that charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement, court records show.

WYDaily archives were used in this story.

Fearing may be reached at sarah.f@localvoicemedia.com.

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