Ex-Army Officer Gets Three Life Terms and Then Some in Molestation Case

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A child molester's attempt to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison failed miserably in Stafford Circuit Court.

William Joseph Bryan, 56, was sentenced by Judge Victoria Willis to three life sentences plus 70 years in prison. It was the maximum sentence Willis could have given for Bryan's convictions on three counts of forcible sodomy and two counts of producing child pornography.

Bryan, a retired Army officer, pleaded guilty to the charges in June. The victim was 7 when the attacks started in 2013 and continued periodically for several years.

In exchange for Bryan's guilty pleas, prosecutor Ryan Frank dropped a number of other charges, including ones that carried mandatory life sentences.

But Frank on Thursday argued for a life sentence anyway, and Judge Willis agreed.

According to the evidence, Bryan had a relationship with the victim's family that gave him frequent access to the child. The victim's mother eventually learned about what had been going on and confronted Bryan.

Bryan said he was sorry and pleaded with the mother not to tell his parents. He had fled to North Carolina by the time the woman took the child to the Stafford Sheriff's Office, but was extradited back to Virginia and has been in the Rappahannock Regional Jail since July 2018.

The evidence against Bryan included videos in which he directed the child to perform a sex act and another in which he filmed himself sexually assaulting the child. Police also recovered thousands of other images depicting child pornography.

At Bryan's sentencing Thursday, an adult relative of the victim testified that she was also molested by Bryan when she was a minor. Prior to being sentenced, Bryan said he was sorry for what he did to both victims. 

This article is written by Keith Epps from The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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