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Votes

8-Year Sentence

Wright was sentenced for sexual assault last Friday, Aug. 29.

<bt>Reginald Andre Wright was sentenced to eight years in prison for the carnal knowledge of two 13-year-old girls in January.

“This is a very, very serious offense,” said Judge Arthur Vieregg Jr., who sentenced Wright, 31, to a consecutive eight-year and 10-year sentence for two counts against him. Vieregg suspended the 10-year sentence, but mandated 10 years of active probation for Wright, of the 14800 block of Maidstone Court in the London Towne community.

A father of one victim and the mother of another victim testified during the sentencing hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court last Friday, Aug. 29.

The father called Wright’s crime and the impact of his crime “something no father should go through.”

“I want to thank the court for hearing me,” he said. “We’re a strong family and we will survive this, but we are asking that you do the right thing for us.”

The mother of the other victim described the long-term impact Wright’s crime has had on her daughter. “It took her a long time to look in a mirror,” she said.

“If you don’t protect us, I fear it will happen to somebody else’s child,” she said.

PARENTS OF BOTH VICTIMS described the ongoing impact the crimes have had on their daughters. The parent of one of the girls testified that her daughter doesn’t eat well, sleeps with a nightlight and threw up the three days before Wright’s sentencing hearing. The parent of the other girl described how his daughter became reclusive after the crime and has even been tormented by children in her school who found out what happened to her. “It was a struggle to get her where she is today,” he said.

The parents are not being named to help protect the identity of the victims.

The crimes also affected the families. “I felt like a failure because I didn’t protect my daughter,” said one parent.

The other parent testified that she felt the same way.

The pre-sentence report on Wright recommended that he receive a sentence between two years and three months to eight years and seven months.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jenna Sands requested that Wright be sentenced to the high end of the guidelines.

“These children’s lives were stolen by this man,” Sands said.

“Eight years is not enough to repair the damage done. This man must be kept from the community,” she said.

Wright’s defense attorney, Dawn Butorac, a public defender, requested that he receive the low end of the sentencing range.

She asked that Vieregg take into consideration that Wright pleaded guilty, “saving” the victims from having to testify in court.

She described Wright’s childhood as tumultuous and said Wright faces post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues from extreme sexual and physical abuse he endured in his own home.

“The exact type of family that produces criminals,” Vieregg said.

Wright has an IQ of 69 and is considered borderline mentally retarded, said Butorac.

“He indicated that he didn’t know the ages of the girls,” Sands said. “He most certainly did. These were children and he knew it.”

WRIGHT COMMITTED the first crime on Jan. 20 in the home of one of the victims.

The second crime occurred nine days later, when the other victim was spending the night at a friend’s house in Centreville, not far from Wright’s home.

When the teen returned home, she told her parents what happened and they contacted police. Wright was arrested at his home on Feb. 2 and charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of carnal knowledge of a minor. On Feb. 10, police charged Wright with another count of carnal knowledge of a minor, also known as statutory rape.

Wright pleaded guilty in April to the two counts of carnal knowledge of a child.

“I’d like to note ever since I came into this jail, I’ve found God,” Wright said. “I would like to apologize to the families that this happened to.”

The mother of one of the victims said she was content with the sentence.