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Jury finds Nathalie man guilty of rape in 2012 incident

A Halifax County Circuit Court jury on Friday convicted a 31-year-old Nathalie man, Ronald Lynn Lacks II, of rape and two other offenses in connection with an incident in June 2012.

The jury returned convictions against Lacks for rape, abduction with intent to defile and assault and battery following a three-day jury trial, and it recommended Lacks serve a sentence of 29 years in prison for the offenses, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Freshour.

The jury found the defendant not guilty of abducting and assaulting a child who was at the victim’s home at the time of the assault.

Lacks was originally charged with rape, abduction with intent to defile and malicious wounding of the victim in the case, in addition to felony child abuse, abduction and assault and battery of a minor.

The charges involving a minor stemmed from the victim’s child being present in the home at the time of the attack.

At the conclusion of the evidence, Judge Joel Cunningham dismissed one charge of child neglect and reduced a charge of unlawful wounding of the victim to a charge of assault and battery.

The jury retired to determine guilt or innocence involving charges of assault and battery of the victim, rape and abduction with intent to defile, in addition to two additional charges for abduction and assault and battery of the victim’s child, according to Freshour.

The crimes for which Lacks was convicted stem from an incident that occurred on June 30, 2012.

Lacks, after having created an earlier disturbance involving the victim at a different location, appeared at the victim’s home uninvited and fell asleep on the front porch, according to the commonwealth’s attorney.

The victim, not wanting Lacks to be seen on the front porch, brought him into her home, and once inside, Lacks attacked the victim, physically assaulting and raping her before leaving her home, Freshour said.

Lacks, who had been released from prison in December 2010 after serving a sentence for a 2002 murder conviction, evaded authorities before being located in Wisconsin in September 2012 and extradited back to Virginia for trial.

The jury recommended an eight-year sentence for the rape, a 20-year sentence for the abduction with intent to defile and 12 months for assault and battery charges related to the victim in the incident.

Cunningham affirmed the jury’s verdict and continued formal sentencing to a date in a later court term. 

The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, and Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Suzanne Inge and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Todd Shockley served as prosecutors.