WINCHESTER — Easton “Tony” Lee Beckford, 58, went on trial Thursday in Winchester Circuit Court on charges of rape and indecent liberties by a custodian.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Keith R. Buzby said in his opening statements that Beckford raped a 15-year-old girl after asking her to have sex with him six times in a row. She said no repeatedly until the sixth request, Buzby said.
The incident reportedly occurred at a Winchester home between May and June 2017.
“This is a case about vulnerability,” Buzby said, adding that Beckford spent years taking advantage of and intimidating the alleged victim, who is now 19 years old.
Beckford’s attorney, Robert V. Bryan Jr., said Beckford is an “innocent man accused of serious crimes.”
The alleged victim gave emotional testimony and said she didn’t tell anyone about the purported rape until after Beckford had moved out of the home in August of 2017. In late August or early September, she said she told her adopted mother. Her mother was slated to testify but died last month.
The Winchester Star does not name victims of sexual assault or alleged victims of sexual assault.
Beckford’s accuser said she initially planned never to tell anyone, because she didn’t think anyone would believe her. But when her mother began talking to Beckford on the phone again, she decided to speak up because she was worried he might return to the home.
She said that about a year or two prior to the alleged rape, Beckford approached her and showed her a pornographic video of two adults having sex. Beckford then told her he could show her those sexual acts if she was ever curious.
Just before the alleged rape, the accuser said she was washing dishes in the kitchen, which is one floor above the basement. She said that Beckford called to her from the door leading to the basement and said that he wanted to show her something. When they went into a bedroom, she said he asked five times if she would have sex with him. The sixth time, she said she agreed to have sex with him, because she felt like she had no other choice. She said she did not resist and just laid on the bed. She said Beckford used a condom. Afterward, she said Beckford told her not to say anything or else he would go to jail. He also gave her $20, which she said she immediately threw away before she went to take a shower and brush her teeth.
Other key testimony came from an inmate who said he spoke with Beckford at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center in Frederick County. The inmate said he did not receive anything in exchange for testifying.
The inmate was the nephew of the accuser’s adopted mother and knew Beckford. He said he considered the accuser to be like family, as he would often see her when they were children. He said Beckford told him in jail that he had sex with the alleged victim, but that it wasn’t rape.
The inmate said Beckford told him that if he committed rape, he would have cut off the girl’s head with a machete.
“You raped a little girl,” the inmate said to Beckford during his testimony. “That was my family.”
The trial continues today.