Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Police: 50-year-old man arrested for raping W&M student

Jerome White (Courtesy VPRJ)
Jerome White (Courtesy VPRJ)

Williamsburg Police have arrested a 50-year-old man in connection to a reported sexual assault on a William & Mary college student.

Jerome White, of James City County, was arrested around 3 p.m. Saturday after an interview with police, according to a Williamsburg Police Department news release.

White is charged with one count of rape, the release said.

A patrolling Williamsburg police officer saw a woman walking with an older man in the 700 block of Scotland Street around 2:30 a.m., the release said.

The officer stopped because the woman appeared to be distraught, Williamsburg Police spokesman Maj. Greg Riley said.

When the officer attempted to stop the pair and make inquiries, the man walked away from the scene, leaving the woman alone, police said.

The officer then escorted the woman home. At the time, she did not make any statements regarding a sexual assault, the release said.

For the protection of the victim, Riley declined to say whether the officer walked or drove the woman to her home.

Around 3:15 a.m., the woman reported to police that she had been sexually assaulted before the officer approached the two on the street. She identified the man who assaulted her as White, police said.

According to Riley, the assault did not occur indoors and the man and woman did not know each other before the alleged incident.

White admitted to having been at the scene of the crime and said he has touched and kissed the victim in a sexual way, according to court documents filed in the Williamsburg-James City County District Court.

He said he “tried to obtain an erection,” but denied he had raped the victim, court documents state.

White also told police the woman had been on the ground in the area where the rape was reported because she had fallen down, according to court documents.

White was arrested that afternoon and was transported to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail, the release said.

According to records from the WJCC Circuit Court, White has a record dating back decades that involves charges of eluding police, possession of cocaine, assault and battery, breaking and entering, grand larceny and various probation violations and driving infractions.

According to a statement released to the campus community, Student Affairs staff and the William & Mary Police Department immediately reached out to the student to offer resources and personal support.

“Williamsburg and the campus area are generally very safe,” Ginger Ambler, vice president for Student Affairs said in the statement. “But this is a reminder that crime can and does happen…Our thoughts continue to be with our student at this difficult time.”

White’s attorney, Paul Freeman, of Woodmere Law in Williamsburg,  declined to comment on the case Monday afternoon.

White is scheduled to appear for a hearing in the Williamsburg-James City County General District Court on Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. His Monday morning court appearance was continued until the January date, according to online court records.

White was also denied bond on Saturday, the day he was arrested, court documents show. The checklist for bail determination shows White is currently unemployed, relies on the goodwill of others for financial resources and is on probation.

The documents say that White was recently released from the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail on Nov. 14.

This post has been updated to include comment from Maj. Greg Riley, Ginger Ambler and court records, and will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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