Friday, December 28, 2007
Virginia May Be For Lovers, But Not If The Girl Is Under Age- by E.T.
Halloween can be a time for playful scares. Police are employed to serve and protect citizens. However, when police "service" an underage female citizen, a crime occurs warranting a change into a striped uniform and an extended trip to the other side of the steel bars is in order. Brian Doss (age 32) a former Chilhowie police sergeant was entrusted with serving and protecting the citizens. A little more than a year after wearing the uniform of a police officer he now has the status of inmate. Doss was sentenced to serve a year in jail after pleading guilty Thursday to crimes against a teenage girl. (Brian Doss had been charged with five crimes after he and former Chilhowie police Chief Dwayne Sheffield allegedly had sex with the 17-year-old at a 2006 Halloween haunted house fundraiser.) Doss had originally been charged with forcible sodomy, nonforcible sodomy, sexual battery, child endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
In Smyth County Circuit Court, the sexual battery charge was amended to a charge of assault and battery. Doss pleaded guilty to the amended charge and the child endangerment charge.
In exchange, the prosecutor dropped the sodomy charges and the contributing charge.
For assault and battery, Doss was sentenced to 12 months in jail with nine months suspended. For child endangerment, he was sentenced to three years with two years and three months suspended. Doss begins residing in Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon as of January 7th. After serving his time, he will be on probation for 3 years and will have no contact with the victim.
Doss's attorney, Jimmie Hess, apparently thought it was a good result. But Doss and Sheffield have always maintained that the sex was consensual. Nevertheless, Hess said Doss was "very remorseful" because of the girl's age. (Note in some states the age for consensual sex may be as young as 16.)
The other member of the misguided duo, Dwayne Sheffield is serving a little over three years after entering an Alford plea to a charge of "animate object sexual penetration." All other charges, including a rape charge, were dropped. (An Alford plea, allowed Sheffield to maintain his innocence while admitting there was enough evidence for a conviction.)
Who knows exactly how this frightful Halloween evolved into such a tragic career ending mishap for these two former officers. But one thing is certainly clear, these two men apparently used incredibly bad judgment that has may have forever scarred their victim.