Friday, December 1, 2023

Jury convicts Williamsburg man in sexual assault of W&M student

Jerome White (WYDaily/Courtesy VPRJ)
Jerome White (WYDaily/Courtesy VPRJ)

A jury has convicted a Williamsburg man of attempting to rape a William & Mary student as she walked home from a bar in December 2016.

Jerome White, 51, was convicted of attempted rape and object sexual penetration Friday after a three-day jury trial in the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Nathan Green.

The jury recommended a sentence of five years on the attempted rape charge and 15 years on the object sexual penetration charge, Green said.

White is scheduled for sentencing at 1 p.m. Sept. 6 in circuit court.

White was arrested by Williamsburg Police on Dec. 3, 2016.

During a preliminary hearing in March 2017, the victim testified she had a drink at a few parties Dec. 2, then went to the College Delly and had several more drinks. She left when the bars were closing around 2 a.m., and left to walk to her apartment around the corner at the King & Queen Apartments, she said.

She encountered White on her walk home, she said, and he struck up a conversation.

“He told me I was a pretty girl” and “he would take care of me,” she said, adding that he also told her his name.

A few minutes into their conversation, he grabbed her shoulders and she found herself on the ground, she testified.

She described the moments after the incident as an “out of body experience” and said she didn’t remember much besides trying to find one of her Converse sneakers. She remembered ending up on a lawn near the First Baptist Church on Scotland Street, where a police officer pulled up on the street with his lights on.

Williamsburg Police Sgt. Bruce Johnson testified during the same hearing that he saw a man with his arm around a woman’s shoulder near the First Baptist Church after 2 a.m. Dec. 3.

He said the man walked away when he approached the two. The woman was not wearing a coat and was carrying her right shoe.

The officer escorted the victim to her apartment. White was located by assisting officers several minutes later at the Wawa convenience store at 315 Richmond Road.

He was arrested later that day.

Fearing can be reached at

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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