RADFORD — A judge on Friday upheld a jury’s recommendation and sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for raping a Radford University graduate.
Shawn Bonds, 35, of Radford, was convicted of the charge in January after jurors listened to six hours of testimony and arguments.
Even though sentencing guidelines prepared by a probation officer recommended more prison time, Circuit Court Judge Joey Showalter said on Friday that the court takes jury recommendations “very seriously.”
The case began more than a year ago, when a 23-year-old woman reported to police that she had been raped while sleeping on a small couch at a house party. The Roanoke Times is not naming the woman because of the nature of the case.
According to previous testimony, the woman had been at a party in the 600 block of Davis Street that started the previous night and had gone to sleep in the early morning hours on an upstairs couch at the residence.
The woman was friends with the four male residents of the house, all in their 20s, and she has testified that she had stayed there overnight in the past.
Bonds was not at the party for the majority of the night but had gone to the house early on Jan. 25, 2013, with one of the men who lived there, according to previous testimony.
In a taped interview with police that was played in court at the trial earlier this year, Bonds at first denied any interaction with the sleeping woman but eventually said she had woken up and initiated sexual contact. He said the two stopped having sex when she called out the wrong name, he corrected her and she got up and left.
The woman testified at the trial in January that she was sleeping after a night of drinking and was unaware that someone had partially undressed her. She was awoken by someone penetrating her from behind, she said. Confused and surprised, she called out, “Daniel?” to ask if it was her boyfriend, who was downstairs at the party, she has said.
When the man answered her, she could tell it was not her boyfriend, and she pulled up her underwear and leggings and ran downstairs, she has said. There, she went to the bathroom, vomited because she was “disgusted,” and told her boyfriend what had happened, she testified.
Bonds came down the stairs, according to testimony, and sat in the living room. The woman and others who had been at the party testified that Bonds was told to leave and police were called.
At Friday’s sentencing hearing, city Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Rehak said that Bonds has had 15 misdemeanor and five felony convictions, including burglary, unlawful wounding and sexual battery.
The sexual battery charge was the result of a report from a woman who said she woke up to someone touching her while she was in bed, Rehak said.
“We’re now here for sentencing of a rape that is eerily similar to what happened back in 2010,” Rehak said.
Bonds was on probation when he was charged with rape, and a probation violation hearing is set to be scheduled in June.
Bonds testified about his criminal past and his problems with smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. His lawyer, Ryan Hamrick, said Bonds still maintains that the sex that occurred on Jan. 25, 2013, was consensual.
Asked if he had anything else he wanted to tell the court, Bonds said: “I want to tell my family that I love them and be strong.”