Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Williamsburg man gets 20 years in prison for trying to rape W&M student

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

A judge has sentenced a Williamsburg man to two decades in prison for attempting to rape a William & Mary student as she walked home from a bar in December 2016.

Jerome White, 52, appeared Wednesday in Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court for sentencing.

White was given 20 years in prison — 15 years for a charge of object sexual penetration and five years for attempted rape — with no time suspended.

The judge followed the sentencing recommendation of a jury, which heard the case during a three-day trial in early June and convicted White on both charges.

According to testimony and police reports, White approached the William & Mary student around 2 a.m. Dec. 3, 2016, as she was walking home on Scotland Street from the College Delly to the King & Queen Apartments.

During a March 2017 preliminary hearing in Williamsburg-James City County General District Court, the woman said she had been to some parties that night and had a few drinks at the College Delly before it closed.

She encountered White on the short walk home, she said, and he struck up a “light” conversation.

The interaction changed after a few moments. White grabbed the woman’s shoulders, forced her to the ground and sexually assaulted her, the woman told the court.

The student 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.

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.

White was arrested later that day.

Later, White told police he tried to obtain an erection, but was unable to do so. He denied raping the woman.

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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