Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Jamelle Banks pleaded guilty to charges of sexual battery, abduction and attempted rape.
Jamelle Andre Banks
Friday, July 19, 2013
A man who attacked, threatened and groped a teenage girl late last year in Old Southwest Roanoke must serve 15 years in prison, and could now receive even more time for committing similar acts in 2009.
Jamelle Andre Banks, 25, pleaded guilty in Roanoke Circuit Court on Tuesday to aggravated sexual battery, abduction with intent to defile, and attempted rape in the incident that occurred Nov. 12 near the intersection of Elm Avenue and Fifth Street.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Alice Ekirch said a 15-year-old high school student was walking south about 6:30 p.m. near a market on Mountain Avenue when she was grabbed by a man who covered her mouth, warned her he had a gun, then tried to drag her into a nearby alley.
Ekirch said the man touched the victim inappropriately but then fled when she started to scream.
The man headed west on foot but was spotted by a police sergeant investigating a separate incident, Ekirch said. She said the suspect ran from him but fled into the path of another officer and police eventually trapped the man — later identified as Banks — on the roof of a nearby shed.
A police dog led police to an Airsoft pellet gun in some bushes on Mountain, and the sergeant who initially pursued the man recovered a folding knife he said he witnessed the suspect drop during the chase.
The victim’s defensive actions were effective, Ekirch said: “She really saved herself.”
Banks in 2009 received a sentence of three years, with five years in suspended time, after he pleaded guilty to attempted abduction by force and for use of a firearm, online court records show.
Ekirch called the 2009 incident “a very similar situation” involving a female victim in the same age range.
It was unclear Thursday exactly how Banks’ convictions this week will affect his suspended time.
Weather JournalComplexities of ice accretion