Return to story
BY PAMELA GOULD
Andrew Mikel of Spotsylvania County pleaded no contest Thursday to two misdemeanors as part of a plea agreement reached days before he was to stand trial on sexual abuse charges.
Mikel, 41, was accused of abusing a young girl during a 7-year period from December 2003 through June 2011, according to Spotsylvania Circuit Court records.
He was indicted in May on eight charges of aggravated sexual battery, five charges of forcible sodomy, five charges of indecent liberties, and three charges of misdemeanor assault and battery.
Mikel, who lives on Hancock Road, had faced the possibility of five life terms plus 213 years in prison as well as $1.3 million in fines if convicted of those charges. A two-day jury trial had been set to begin Monday.
As a result of the plea agreement, he received a two-year sentence with half of the time suspended.
He was led away to jail after the 10-minute hearing in which Judge David H. Beck found him guilty of assault and battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The other charges were dropped.
Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney John C. Bowers said the girl who brought the accusations was aware of the plea deal and had been consulted during the legal process.
"The result was a compromise based on the strength of the case and the defendant receiving consequences for his actions," Bowers said.
"This was a good result for the victim of the case."
Defense attorney Ghislaine Storr Burks said after the hearing that Mikel denies having sexually abused the girl.
Mikel gained national attention in 2011 when he and his son appeared on Fox news and ABC-TV's "The View" while they were appealing the boy's long-term suspension from Spotsylvania High School.
Andrew Mikel II was a 14-year-old freshman in December 2010 when he hit classmates with hard plastic pellets he blew at them through a tube. He was suspended for the remainder of the 2010-11 school year. Mikel sought the assistance of The Rutherford Institute, a Charlottesville-based civil liberties group, in fighting his son's suspension.
He appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court, but did not prevail.
The boy moved out of state to live with relatives after his father was charged by Spotsylvania authorities in December 2011.
Mikel had been free on bond pending trial.
He worked as superintendent of the Rappahannock Regional Landfill in Stafford County at the time of his arrest. He recently worked as a technician for a vehicle repair service in Stafford, according to court records.
Mikel and his family relocated to Spotsylvania in 2003 after he returned from a tour of duty in Iraq as a Marine.
The girl, who is currently in high school, reported her allegations to authorities in November 2011.
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972