Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Boyfriend" gets 31 years in rape of woman

A 23 year old Covington, VA man was sentenced to 31 years in prison by Alleghany County Circuit Court Judge Malfourd "Bo" Trumbo Tuesday, October 6. Jonathan Travis Switzer was sentenced on charges of rape, carjacking, abduction with the intent to defile, violation of a protective order and assault and battery of a law enforcement officer.

Switzer's sentencing came after a preliminary hearing in which while his victim was testifying, Switzer halted the courtroom proceedings by saying "Stop it! It's all true! I did it! I did it!" This admission was followed in May by a formal guilty plea to the charges above.

Switzer's brush with the law began June 14, 2008, when he beat his 38-year-old ex-girlfriend, a crime for which he was convicted last year. An emergency protective order was issued telling Switzer to stay away from her, but he began calling her persistently. She went to the magistrate's office to obtain a warrant for his arrest, but Switzer intercepted her on Main Street in Covington, forced her into the back seat of her van and drove to a wooded area, Gardner said.

There, Switzer raped and sodomized his ex-girlfriend and threatened to kill her. She complained of a head injury and asked him to take her to the hospital, which he did, but only on the condition that she not leave his sight or say anything about the rape, Gardner said.

Once at Alleghany Regional Hospital, though, the woman tried to tip off an intake nurse by writing at the bottom of a sign-in sheet, "He raped me. Please help." No one noticed the note, so when the woman went to the restroom to provide a urine sample, she again wrote, this time on a wrapper, "He raped me. Please help." She placed the note with the urine sample but again it was overlooked.

The woman's boyfriend summoned deputies to the hospital after he called the woman on her cellphone and Switzer answered.

The battery of a law enforcement officer charge came after Switzer began throwing food trays at the Alleghany Regional Jail. He fought jailers who tried to stop him.

Ann Gardner, prosecutor, stated that "The judge lowered the boom on him," and the 31 year sentence given to Switzer is the executed part. Judge Trumbo suspended 46 more years in prison.

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