Monday Morning Notes

U. S. citizenship prep class — Register for tonight’s prep class, which is part of a 12-week program covering the basics of U.S. history and civics. The class from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Herndon Fortnightly Library is for intermediate to advanced English learners only. [Fairfax County]

Man exonerated for 1975 Reston rape — “The Virginia Supreme Court on Thursday cleared an Indiana man of sexual assault convictions in Fairfax County from more than four decades ago… The unanimous court issued a writ of actual innocence for Winston L. Scott, 62, vacating his convictions. He was 19 when a Reston woman was attacked on July 24, 1975. He was sentenced to 14 years on convictions of rape, sodomy and statutory burglary and served about five years before he was paroled.” [The Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Herndon fire Sunday — Firefighters responded to an apartment fire in the 2300 block of Rolling Fork Circle around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Heavy smoke was reported on the third floor. Crews quickly located and extinguished the fire and conducted salvage operations. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Crash closed Herndon Parkway — Herndon Police said they were investigating a crash that closed Herndon Parkway between Crestview Drive and Ferndale Ave around 5 p.m. on Saturday. [Herndon Police Department]

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Trial for 1995 Sexual Assaults Opens With Victim Testimonies

The trial began earlier this week for Jude Lovchik, charged with abduction and sodomy.

In 1995, four roommates in Reston were held at gunpoint and sexually assaulted. The case had gone cold until Lovchik’s ex-wife told Arlington County police that Lovchik had confessed the actions to her and had her recreate the scenes.

According to the Washington Post, the victims of the assault testified during the opening day of the trial. The women said their attacker had forced the women to perform sexual acts on each other and on him, then worked meticulously to cover his tracks.

One woman testified that she was made to drink Gatorade to remove the evidence from her mouth and that he vacuumed the bedroom where the assault occurred. After going through their address book, the women said the attacker also threatened to kill their friends and family if they reported the assault.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jessica Greis-Edwardson, who said DNA swabs from Lovchik matched biological material found in the mouth of one of the victims.

But Fairfax County Public Defender Dawn Butorac said the evidence tying Lovchik to the crime was flimsy, saying there were inconsistencies in the DNA evidence and noting that Lovchick’s ex-wife, who was in the middle of the divorce when she reported Lovchick’s confession, had motive to lie.

Lovchik faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges, including abduction and sodomy. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Photo via Marion County Jail

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Trial to Begin Next Week for 1995 Sexual Assaults in Reston

A man accused of a series of sexual assaults across Fairfax in the 90’s, including four women in Reston, is scheduled to go to trial this Monday (Dec. 3).

Jude Lovchik is charged with a series of felonies including multiple counts of abduction, sodomy, robbery and firearms offenses.

While Lovchik is being investigated for other assaults in Fairfax and Prince William counties, his charges stem from a 1995 assault where Lovchik is alleged to have climbed onto the balcony of an apartment building and subseqently tied up, blindfolded and sexually assaulted four roommates.

According to the Washington Post, the break in the cold case came when Lovchik’s wife went to the Arlington Police after she said Lovchik assaulted her during their divorce. She also told the police that Lovchik had told her about his string of assaults throughout Fairfax in the early 1990’s and had her recreate the sexual assault scenes for him. Police said Lovchik’s wife provided information about the case that had not been disclosed to the public.

After Lovchik’s wife spoke with the police in early 2017, his home was placed under surveilence until DNA was collected from trash that police say was connected to DNA collected from the Reston assault.

Lovchik moved to Florida in 2017, but was arrested in October and returned to Vriginia, where he is currently being housed in the Fairfax County jail.

Photo via Marion County Jail

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Darwin Martinez-Torres Pleads Guilty to Murder of Nabra Hassanen

Darwin Martinez Torres, 25, pleaded guilty today (Nov. 28) to raping and murdering Nabra Hassanen of Reston, according to news reports.

His trial was set for January, according to the Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.

The prosecution agreed not to pursue the death penalty after consulting with the Hassanen’s family, NBC 4 reported.

Torres’ defense team said Torres has a learning disability and a low IQ, but that he is competent enough to take responsibility for the crime and to plead guilty to eight counts in Hassanen’s murder trial, ABC 7’s Tim Barber tweeted.

The plea deal imposes a life sentence, and he will not be eligible for probation, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors in the case planned to introduce evidence that Torres was a member of MS-13, though police are not saying that the crime was gang-related, according to the Washington Post.

The Washington Post also reported that Torres’ defense team planned to allege that Torres is intellectually disabled as a result of toxins in a gold mine near where he grew up in El Salvador.

Torres faces the possibility the deportation after ICE placed a detainer on Torres following his arrest.

Hassanen was attacked when she was walking with a group of Muslim teens after a Ramadan service at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling in June 2017. Fairfax County police say Hassanen was attacked with a baseball bat before she was abducted, sexually assaulted and killed.

Her body was found in a pond near Torres’ apartment.

Police said they believed the crime was not motivated by Hassanen’s religion, but by a road rage incident.

Hassanen’s death drew widespread attention, with #JusticeForNabra vigils held in Reston and across the country.

Photos via FCPD and LaunchGood.com

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Reston Man Sentenced to 29 Years for Rape of Minor

Julio Saravia/Credit: Loudoun County  A Reston man has been sentenced to 29 years in prison plus probation for life for one count of rape involving a minor.

Julio C. Saravia, 33, was sentenced Thursday in the Circuit Court of Loudoun County.

The Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney said between February 2013 and August 2013, Saravia engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor child on several occasions. In the early fall of 2013, the victim disclosed to a family member that Saravia had sex with her. The family member contacted law enforcement, who subsequently interviewed Saravia. In a recorded interview, Saravia admitted to having
sex with the victim on multiple occasions.

Saravia pleaded guilty to one count of rape last November.

In addition to the total active sentence of 29 years, Saravia will be placed on supervised probation for life and is ordered to have no contact with minors.

Saravia, a native of El Salvador, may be subject to a Federal Immigration Detainer, which would direct his removal from the United States upon his release, officials said.

Photo: Julio Saravia/Credit: Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney

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