Case of cop accused of rape continued

Former County police officer Sean M. Horn, who arrested and charged with rape on January 5, was scheduled to appear in court Monday, February 27, but the preliminary hearing in the case has been rescheduled, again.

Horn, 42, has been charged in an alleged Thanksgiving Day weekend rape in 2011, "accomplished through the use of the victim's mental incapacity or physical helplessness," according to an arrest warrant. Police have said the arrest follows a "thorough investigation."

Because the case is being handled in Albemarle County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, and Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Darby Lowe said that there was an "adult victim" in the alleged rape, it's possible that the victim is a family member.

On January 6, Judge Dwight Johnson granted a motion by the defense to bar media from the bond hearing due to concerns about pre-trial publicity, something Hook legal expert David Heilberg said is "very rarely imposed."

At the time of his arrest, Horn was a Reserve Deputy with the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office. His boss, Albemarle County Sheriff J.E. "Chip" Harding, said the charge made it necessary to decommission Horn, but cautioned people about jumping to conclusions and said that Horn had "served well."

"Give our justice system ample opportunity to hear all the facts before reaching a final conclusion," said Harding.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 9.

Read more on: sean m. horn


I don't think it is all that uncommon to close juvenile and domestic relations court hearings to the public -- especially when it involves an allegation of sexual assault against an unnamed victim.


The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Virginia:

Preliminary Hearing for Adults

Adults charged with committing felonies against children or family or household members are brought into juvenile and domestic relations district court, after arrest, for a preliminary hearing. This hearing is held to determine if there is probable (reasonable) cause to believe that the accused adult committed the felony. If probable cause is found, the case is
transferred to circuit court; otherwise the case is dismissed.

Right, this determines if the case continues or not. Never seen one but I imagine it is a pretty low standard of proof to get the juvi court to transfer it, unless the victim recants or the evidence is absurdly scant.

red, you might be surprised how many cases never make it past a preliminary hearing in all of the local courts. And once in a while this gets the police departments, chiefs/sheriffs and the officers sued. Especially if the police and/or the victim have abused the system in placing the charges in the first place. And this too happens more often than you might believe as well.

I could believe it, especially with domestic type cases.

If it's a family member, does that mean IMMEDIATE family member? As in, an adult daughter or wife, even son? Didn't an earlier article say that his wife had adult children from a previous marriage? That's really sick if he forced himself on his stepchildren.