After deliberating for just over three hours, an Alexandria jury found former Alexandria Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Mayo guilty of two counts of carnal knowledge of an inmate and not guilty of abduction.
Mayo worked for the sheriff’s department for 13 years, from the early 1990's until last year when he was dismissed. In 2002, between April and September, officials claimed he had sex with at least two inmates who were under his supervision in a work release program at the Alexandria jail.
“He wore the badge, he carried the gun, he held the keys and he had the power,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Callahan in his closing argument. “He had the power and he abused that power by preying on young women who were at their most vulnerable.”
The two victims came forward only last year. According to court records, both victims have multiple felony convictions for white-collar crimes and for possession of cocaine, in one case.
“I could have been kicked out of the [work release] program if I didn’t do what he told me to do,” one victim said.
The Commonwealth alleged that Mayo forced one victim to have oral sex with him at the AMC Hoffmann Theater. “She was supposed to return to the jail by 1 p.m.,” Callahan said. “The only reason that she wouldn’t have returned to the jail on time is if someone told her that it was alright. Mr. Mayo was the only deputy working that day in the work release program.”
THE OTHER VICTIM was on furlough at a friend’s home when Mayo had sex with her. “He called my cell phone and told me that he was going to come to my friend’s house and do a home visit,” she said in court. “He came at around 10 that night and told me to go with him.”
The victim and Mayo then drove to a Day’s Inn, where the victim registered. “We went to the room and had sex,” the victim said.
Defense counsel argued that the victims’ testimony was not credible. “The only evidence in this case has been brought in by convicted felons,” said Donald Allen, Mayo’s attorney. “These women have told you that they have many felony convictions and Mr. Mayo comes from a long line of law enforcement officers. There is no proof that any of this happened, because it didn’t.”
The jury found the testimony of the two victims to be credible and found Mayo guilty on two of the three counts. They found him not guilty on the abduction charge. One victim had alleged that Mayo drove her to his house in Maryland where he had sex with her. The jury found Mayo not guilty on the charge that stemmed from this incident.
“This case clearly shows the integrity of law enforcement in Alexandria,” said Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney S. Randolph Sengel. “A lengthy, thorough and professional investigation occurred without regard to the history of the victims or the defendant.”
The jury recommended that Mayo serve six years in prison. Each count of carnal knowledge of an inmate carried a possible sentence of one to five years.
“We are very pleased with the sentencing recommendation as well and think that it was appropriate,” Sengel said.
Judge Donald M. Haddock will sentence Mayo later this spring. He does not have to adhere to the recommendation of the jury.