lafayette john henry

John Henry Lafayette

WINCHESTER — A White Post man awaits sentencing after admitting to fondling a 16-year-old girl.

In a plea bargain on Tuesday in Frederick County Circuit Court, John Henry Lafayette pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent liberties with a child. A third count was dismissed as part of the agreement. Lafayette, 68, of the 100 block of Bleeding Heart Drive, is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. on Feb. 2.

The molestation occurred near a pond in the Cedar Meadows subdivision on Sept. 22. Lafayette, who had helped the girl get her learner’s permit, had gained her trust, according to Heather D. Enloe, an assistant commonwealth’s attorney. She said he asked the girl to go for a walk with him. While sitting on a bench, he fondled the girls breasts and penetrated her vagina with his finger. “The defendant told her not to tell anyone because it would get him into trouble,” Enloe told Judge William Warner Eldridge IV.

However, the girl reported the molestation to her parents that night and a rape kit was done at Winchester Medical Center. Enloe said Lafayette later confessed in a phone call with the girl’s father after first denying it happened.

“He said, ‘I’m crazy, OK? I need help,”’ Enloe said. “I’m going to see a psychiatrist.”

Attorney Ryan L. Nuzzo told Eldridge that Lafayette was out of state when the call occurred, but turned himself in when charged and has accepted responsibility for his actions. A pre-sentence report, which includes state sentencing guideline recommendations, will be presented to Eldridge before the sentencing. The maximum sentence is 10 years imprisonment.

— Contact Evan Goodenow at egoodenow@winchesterstar.com

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