There is no statute of limitations in Virginia for felonies, meaning a criminal case can be filed at any time there is sufficient evidence.
Adrian James Ryan Orrell, 27, of Martinsville learned that the hard way on July 21, when he was arrested for rape, forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual battery of a victim younger than 13 years old on evidence that was more than 10 years ago.
As of this week, Orrell, facing possible decades in prison, reached a plea agreement that will basically leave him out of jail but a mistake away from a long sentence.
The date of offense for all three charges is April 4, 2010, and a Henry County Grand Jury saw fit to indict Orrell on those charges during its session last July.
In Virginia, the mandatory minimum sentence for a forcible sodomy of a victim younger than 13 is 25 years in prison. Rape carries a sentence of 5 years to life, and aggravated sexual battery is a minimum of 1 year up and a maximum of 20.
But in a plea agreement between the state and Michael Nicholas, Orrell’s attorney, the rape and forcible sodomy charges were dropped.
In exchange, Orrell entered an Alford plea on the charge of aggravated sexual battery.
An Alford plea is the same as a guilty plea except the defendant maintains innocence but admits that the prosecution’s evidence is sufficient that a guilty verdict likely would be reached if the case were to be brought to trial.
Circuit Court Judge David Williams imposed the maximum 20 years for the remaining aggravated sexual battery charge and then suspended 19 years, 11 months and 8 days, leaving an active sentence equal to the amount of time Orrell had served before being bonded out on Aug. 10.
Orrell will remain on supervised probation for the rest of his life.
Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 236. Follow him