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LOCAL WEEK IN REVIEW
week's news in review

Date published: 3/30/2008

Molester says he was assaulted by Bigfoot

A man who claims that he was molested by Bigfoot as a child was ordered to serve 20 years in prison Tuesday for his own molestation-related activities.

Gene R. Morrill, 57, of New Ipswich, N.H., had previously pleaded guilty in Stafford Circuit Court to 20 charges stemming from his efforts to solicit 13-year-old boys over the Internet.

Defense attorney Terrence Patton cited Morrill's mental health issues in seeking leniency from Judge J. Howe Brown.

Morrill told an investigator preparing his pre-sentence report about being sexually assaulted by the legendary Bigfoot, a North American folklore character said to be between 7 and 10 feet tall, and covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair. Patton said Morrill really believes the assault happened.

However, Morrill was determined to be mentally competent to stand trial.

Duo charged with cruelty to animals

A Culpeper man and woman face 84 counts of animal neglect and cruelty charges after 13 pit bull dogs, a parakeet and an iguana were left without food or water for what may have been as long as two weeks.

The owner of the house where the animals were found called authorities March 21 after he discovered the situation, according to Officer Kim Siebert of Culpeper County Animal Control.

Siebert said that while none of the animals had major medical problems--aside from being deprived of food and water for a prolonged period--the dogs are being treated for parasites and skin conditions.

Man given 9 months for spreading HIV

A North Carolina man was ordered to serve nine months in jail for not telling his girlfriend he was HIV-positive before having unprotected sex with her.

Robert Earl Johnson, 42, of Washington, N.C., pleaded guilty to two counts of infected sexual battery and assault and battery Wednesday in Stafford Circuit Court.

The two charges of infected sexual battery were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors.


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