After two days of witness testimony and more than three hours of deliberation, a jury found a Waynesboro man guilty on all six counts stemming from a rape and abduction over Easter Weekend 2019.
Brad Carter, 36, was found guilty of rape, unlawful bodily injury, abduction and three counts of strangulation.
The victim in the case testified Monday that Carter, who she was living with and dating at the time, held her against her will for more than 30 hours. She recalled having her wrists zip tied, having a drink dumped on her, being strangled three separate times, and having urine-soaked socks placed in her mouth throughout the incident.
Carter himself took the stand Tuesday, testifying the victim wrapped a vacuum cord around her own neck and hit herself in the head with a flashlight repeatedly. He also denied strangling her, zip tying her wrists, hitting her, placing urine-soaked socks in her mouth and threatening to kill her.
“She was still trying to get me into a boxing match,” he said.
When questioned about the rape, Carter admitted to having sex with the victim after she initiated it in an attempt to “smooth things over.” He said they stopped having sex because he felt “disgusted” about it.
Carter also was questioned about more than 20 phone calls and 70 text messages he sent the victim on Monday, April 22, 2019 — the day the victim reported the incident to Waynesboro police. One message Carter sent via Facebook messenger read, “Do you want to pay for this?”
Carter alleges the victim took his car to go to work Monday, but failed to return it that afternoon. He said it was “more than reasonable” to “blow up” someone’s phone if they take your car and don’t come back. He later explained that by, “Do you want to pay for this?”, he meant pursuing legal action for taking his car.
Benjamin Thurman, Carter’s defense attorney, urged the jury to believe his client because “there is one reason and one reason only you know [Carter] is telling the truth — he went on the stand and admitted to having sex with her.” Carter wouldn’t have admitted to having sex with the victim if he was lying, Thurman contended.
Waynesboro Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Elysse Stolpe told jurors the case was about obsession, jealousy and control.
After more than three hours of deliberation, the jury returned with guilty verdicts on all six charges.
The defense requested a five-year sentence, the minimum sentence for rape, while the Commonwealth argued for a “decades-long” sentence.
Ultimately, the jury recommended a 27-year sentence for Carter.
A sentencing hearing for Carter will be held in July. Carter’s attorney said in court Tuesday he had plans to appeal the convictions.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673). The Waynesboro Police Department is located at 250 S. Wayne Ave, Suite 102, and can be reached at (540) 942-6675. In an emergency, dial 911.