Another delay in sentencing child sex offender | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


By Linda Cicoira

The sentencing of a man convicted of the 2019 sexual abuse of a six-year-old girl, was continued again Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court.

This time, 30-year-old Dillion Stanford Ward, of Bloxom, was with his new attorney. But, defense lawyer John Haugh, of Newport News, was not prepared for the proceeding.

In February, Ward’s previous lawyer, Carl Bundick, was told one day before sentencing that Ward had hired a new attorney.  Bundick said although he never received a formal request, he quickly informed Haugh how to get all the details about the case. More recently, Bundick said, he copied the details and sent them to Haugh.

Haugh told Judge Les Lilley that he had been trying since February to get details and finally received them last week. He said he had not had a chance to review the information.

Lilley wanted a new date to be made within the next 30 days. When no date could be agreed upon, the judge gave 45 days. Finally, sentencing was set for Aug. 24, and Lilley said there would be no more continuances.

While retaining his innocence through an Alford plea, Ward pleaded guilty to the offense in a plea agreement with Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan, in 2021. Morgan agreed not to prosecute another charge, object sexual penetration, involving the child, in exchange for the plea.

At that time, Morgan said it was the best outcome because the girl did not have to testify and the defendant was held accountable. He recommended a mid-point of the guidelines for a sentence. The maximum sentence is 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

     After being in the care of Ward, the child told her mother what Ward had done. Morgan said Ward texted an apology. “I’m sorry. Good bye. I can’t believe myself after it happened.” Ward told authorities he did not do anything inappropriate.



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