Sexual assault charges against two Roanoke men were certified Wednesday following a preliminary hearing in Franklin County General District Court.
Sammy Ahmed Hamadeh, 23, and Jorge Luis Pena, 27, are accused of attacking an acquaintance, a college student who was 19 at the time, while the three of them were hanging out with others at Smith Mountain Lake Community Park in June.
Hamadeh is charged with rape, and Pena with acting as an accessory to that crime. Both are being held without bond at the Western Virginia Regional Jail.
Substitute General District Court Judge Greg Haymore heard testimony from the accuser and an investigator, and arguments from the prosecutor and defense attorneys, before deciding there was sufficient evidence to send the case on to a grand jury.
The accuser gave emotional testimony for nearly an hour Wednesday and told the judge she and her best friend and several of her friend’s acquaintances had partied at Smith Mountain Lake across two days. She acknowledged that they had been smoking marijuana, drinking heavily and playing party games like Truth or Dare.
On the second day, June 25, she said, she suddenly found herself alone with the two men, and she testified that both of them took advantage of her while she was heavily intoxicated.
Asked by the prosecutor to point out in court the men she said attacked her, the woman initially resisted.
“Do I have to, your honor?” she asked.
“You need to respond to what she has asked you to do,” Haymore told her.
She pointed first to one defendant, then the other, distinguishing them by the different colors of their jail jumpsuits, yellow and orange.
Hamadeh and Pena were arrested at the park after a brief search by Virginia Conservation Police and Virginia State Police, officials have said.
On cross-examination by Pena’s defense attorney, Aaron Houchens, a sheriff’s office investigator said Pena had told him the acts in question had been consensual.
Franklin County’s next grand jury will convene Monday.