MAN FOUND GUILTY IN CAMPBELL COUNTY OF SEX CRIMES AGAINST CHILD
December 10, 2020
RUSTBURG — A Lynchburg man was found guilty Wednesday of committing multiple sexual battery crimes against a child last year.
Roger Edward Blankenship, 56, was arrested in March on three counts each of aggravated sexual battery against a child younger than 13, forcible sodomy of a child younger than 13 and taking indecent liberties with a child. The victim in question was 9 on the offense dates listed for most of the charges.
He was found guilty of all but one of the sodomy charges after a Wednesday bench trial in Campbell Circuit Court and will likely face a mandatory life sentence.
His charges and evidence in the case indicated the assaults in question happened from spring 2019 up until December of last year, when Blankenship was shot outside his residence near Rustburg and went to the hospital. Details of the shooting were not revealed in court.
When confronted by investigators this past February, Blankenship first hung his head and denied any wrongdoing, according to Brian Dudley, who interviewed both Blankenship and the victim for the Campbell County Sheriff's Office.
Through search warrants, Dudley said he then discovered what seemed to be accidental recordings on Blankenship’s cellphone, one of which caught snippets of Blankenship’s and the victim’s voices during an assault.
After Dudley played back the recordings for Blankenship, he admitted in that interview to inappropriately touching her and when asked for a reason why he did it, replied that he was “just stupid,” according to testimony. Part of a recording from that interview played back in court Wednesday captured Blankenship confirming he was disgusted with himself.
Campbell Circuit Judge John Cook said he found the victim’s testimony credible and Blankenship’s not credible before finding him guilty.
Several of his charges bear mandatory life sentences based on the factors in the case. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.