And then the defendant threatened his attorney before bailiffs quickly ushered him out of the courtroom and into a holding cell.
Willard F. Campbell Jr., 47, of Staunton, was convicted in March on charges of rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The jury recommended life in prison, which under Virginia law is mandatory because Campbell was over the age of 18 and his victim was under the age of 13.
On Thursday, Campbell, who already served a previous prison stint for sex crimes committed in Augusta County, continued to claim his innocence. Although he admitted plying the victim with alcohol, he said, “I did not rape that kid.”
He also blamed his attorney, William Little II, even though Little filed a motion for a mistrial after being told by Campbell’s family members that a juror was nodding off during the trial. Judge Charles Ricketts III denied the motion.
Little will also appeal the case before resigning as Campbell’s attorney.
After Ricketts upheld the jury’s life sentence, the handcuffed Campbell pointed a finger at Little and threatened him.
Evidence at the trial showed the girl consumed several shots of whiskey with her friend and Campbell the night she was sexually assaulted at a Staunton home in June 2013. The victim testified she woke up to Campbell raping her, then she passed out.
The victim’s friend testified that when she awoke, she found the 12-year-old wearing no clothing beneath the waist. The victim had also vomited on herself, according to testimony.
After being arrested, Campbell told police he was high on methamphetamine on the night in question, but initially denied providing alcohol to the 12-year-old girl. He later admitted to giving her liquor.
A sexual assault nurse from Augusta Health testified in Staunton Circuit Court that the victim had signs of trauma to her vaginal area. However, Campbell’s DNA was not found on the girl.
Campbell was a registered sex offender at the time he raped the girl. In 1992, he was convicted on two counts of aggravated sexual battery in Augusta County Circuit Court and sentenced to 13 years behind bars. The charges involved him having two minors, ages 4 and 6, simulating sex while he watched, according to Anne Reed, a Staunton assistant prosecutor.
In 1986, a charge of gross sexual imposition was lodged in Ohio against Campbell, although it was not prosecuted and the girl recanted the allegation as a teen, according to court records.
Court records also state Campbell started drinking alcohol as a 7-year-old, and became a heavy drinker by the time he was 17. He also had access to pornography around the time he was 8.