Saturday, May 21, 2022

Man to serve 31 years in jail for attacking, sexually assaulting jogger

Christopher Cabral
Christopher Cabral (Courtesy VPRJ)

Despite questions about his mental health, a 32-year-old registered sex offender will serve several decades in prison for attacking and sexually assaulting a woman while she jogged on Richmond Road in August 2015.

Christopher Cabral, of Williamsburg, was sentenced Wednesday morning to 31 years in prison with another 60 years and 30 days suspended in the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court. The conviction stems from the abduction and sexual assault of the 25-year-old victim, who was shocked with a stun gun three times in the Aug. 31 encounter.

Cabral, who told the victim he was trying to teach her a lesson about jogging alone, will also have to maintain his status as a registered sex offender and be on supervised probation for the rest of his life.

“This was an offense not only on a stranger, but it was also planned,” Prosecutor Katey Fennig said to Judge Michael McGinty, adding that Cabral has a “complete lack of remorse” for his “menacing and violent behavior, particularly toward women.”

The victim, a commissioned officer in the Coast Guard, testified during Cabral’s trial last April. She said she was jogging on Richmond Road around 5:30 a.m. when she stopped to adjust her phone case.

A man ran toward her and shocked her in the abdomen with what she believed was a taser. Although the woman fought back, Cabral overpowered her and dragged her behind a bush, where they both fell on the ground.

The woman struggled against Cabral, but he restricted her breathing by wrapping one arm around her throat and one arm around her mouth. He then demanded she give him money; when she said she had none, he demanded she give him valuables but she again had nothing to give him.

She testified he became quiet at that point, then put one of his hands between her legs and began rubbing her vaginal area.

Cabral has been registered as a sex offender in Virginia since 2014, according to the Virginia Sex Offender Registry. His sex offender status stems from a rape of an 11-year-old in Texas in 2005, Fennig said Wednesday.

During the sentencing, Fennig outlined several past police reports and convictions that she felt were relevant to the case. Beyond the 2005 rape in Texas, he was “involved in” a police report of a 1999 sexual battery and a 2000 report of a domestic assault. He was convicted of a sexual assault in 2000, she said.

Cabral is accused of violating the rules as a sex offender by having several social media accounts. Recorded jail phone calls also reveal he was monitoring the Texas victim’s Facebook activities, Fennig said.

She also said he had “behavior” dating back to school when he lifted girls’ skirts and assaulted family members. Cabral has spent much of his adult life in prison, Fennig added, and has reoffended fairly quickly after being released from prison.

While Fennig’s argument revolved around Cabral’s “patterns of behavior,” defense attorney George Brooks argued Cabral’s struggles may stem from traumatic childhood events and mental health issues.

When Cabral was six years old, his mother handcuffed him to a bedpost for 12 hours so she “could sleep without worry,” Brooks said.

Brooks said Cabral’s behavior, particularly when he subdued the woman and then released her and checked her over for injuries, suggests mental issues, “not someone who actually wants to take advantage.”

While only about one-third of Cabral’s jail sentence was active time in prison, Judge McGinty said the details of the offense and Cabral’s past behavior indicates if he is not incarcerated, he is likely to reoffend.

Brooks told McGinty Cabral intended to appeal the conviction, adding that attorney Richard Collins would likely represent him on the appeal.

Brooks declined to comment on the case.

WYDaily archives were used in this story.

Fearing can be reached at

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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