Kevin O’Connor, the 65-year-old former deacon of Calvary Temple Ministries in Sterling, will get no jail time after facing seven felony charges in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a teen girl 17 years ago.
Circuit Court Judge Jeanette A. Irby Thursday accepted O’Connor’s Alford Plea to two amended charges of misdemeanor sexual battery. A grand jury had indicted him on seven felonies—forcible sodomy, four counts of aggravated sexual battery, and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.
O’Connor didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged that he understood prosecutors would present substantial incriminating evidence against him.
Under the plea—which O’Connor’s defense counsel Renee Berard made with Fauquier County Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook—O’Connor was sentenced to 12 months in jail with all of that time suspended. The deal also stipulates that O’Connor will be placed on supervised probation for 12 months, register as a sex offender and participate in therapy with a registered sex offender treatment provider.
Berard said registering as a sex offender would impose “significant restrictions” and “significant stigma” on O’Connor for the rest of his life.
The case surrounds incidents that took place between April and May 2003, after O’Connor and his wife brought their niece, a then-14-year-old, into their home. According to prosecutors’ proffer of facts, O’Connor during that time would go into his niece’s room at night and commit sexual acts. The incidents came to light when the girl’s friend noticed a mark on her breast while changing for gym. The girl’s friend informed O’Connor’s brother-in-law, who then informed police in May 2003. After an initial investigation, prosecutors declined to pursue charges.
The case was reactivated in 2013. A recorded phone call between O’Connor and his niece in January 2016 led to charges filed when O’Connor said “… I don’t know what to tell you. Like I’ve said before, to just ask you for forgiveness for that, you know, for what happened.”
The Sheriff’s Office arrested O’Connor in August 2018. He has been free on a $10,000 secured bond since then.