FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 17, 2019
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
Prince William Man Convicted of Sex Offenses, Assaulting Law Enforcement, and Traffic Charges
Loudoun Judge imposes 19 years in prison
LEESBURG, Virginia – January 14, 2019. Russell Thomas Versage, 48, appeared before Judge J. Howe Brown, Jr. in Loudoun County Circuit Court for sentencing on one count of electronic solicitation of a minor under fifteen, while being at least seven years older; one count electronic solicitation of a minor under fifteen, while being at least seven years older, second of subsequent offense; attempted indecent liberties with a minor under fifteen, two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer, one count of eluding, and two counts of misdemeanor hit and run. Brown imposed a total active sentence of nineteen years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
In early January 2018, a Leesburg Police Department Detective posing as a fourteen-year-old girl, responded to an ad on Craigslist. Versage responded to the detective and they engaged in regular online communication for two months. During that time, Versage sent the detective pornographic photographs of himself, requested naked photographs from the “fourteen-year-old,” and propositioned sex several times. The two agreed to meet in March 2018.
On March 12, 2018, Versage arrived at a pre-arranged meeting location with the expectation of meeting the teenager, but when he spotted law enforcement in the area he fled the scene and proceeded to a nearby parking lot and began texting the “fourteen-year-old.” Moments later, law enforcement arrived at Versage’s location and directed him to exit his vehicle. Versage ignored the directions of law enforcement and drove away, striking a parked vehicle and a police cruiser. Versage was subsequently arrested in a neighboring county.
"While the internet has a great number of benefits, it has sadly become a breeding ground for child predators," said Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman. "As parents it is vital that we monitor our children's internet and mobile phone activity and continue to have open dialog with them about these dangers," continued Plowman.
Versage pleaded guilty to the offenses on August 27, 2018.
Brown imposed an additional five years of suspended time. Upon his release, Versage will be placed on twenty years of supervised probation.
Pursuant to Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act, Versage will also be required to register as a sex offender. Information about the Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry and those on it can be found on the Virginia State Police website: http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov.