Dumler arrested: County Supervisor charged with forcible sodomy

Self-employed lawyer and Albemarle County supervisor Christopher J. Dumler has been jailed and charged with sexual assault and felony forcible sodomy over an allegation that he performed anal intercourse "against the victim's will by force, threat, or intimidation," according to his October 18 arrest warrant.

The incident occurred October 4, according to the warrant, and courtroom testimony indicates that the victim is female.

At a bail hearing in Albemarle General District Court Thursday morning, the 27-year-old Dumler was seen on live-video. Sitting in a chair dressed in the gray-and-white prison uniform of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail where he was incarcerated shortly after midnight, Dumler appeared calm and respectful to Judge William G. Barkley.

Because he is an elected official in Albemarle, Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman has been tapped to prosecute, and Chapman seemed caught off guard.

"I have not yet even read the arrest report," said Chapman. "I have received an oral report from the officer."

Judge Barkley responded that the felony allegation carries a presumption against bail and directed Dumler– who didn't point out that he's a member in good standing of the Virginia bar– to hire a lawyer and seek another hearing as early as Thursday afternoon.

"Yes, your honor," Dumler replied.

Chapman passed a phalanx of media outside the courthouse downtown without responding to questions.

A Democrat, Dumler won the Scottsville-area seat long held by fellow Democrat Lindsay Dorrier by defeating Republican Jim Norwood in 2011. According to a source familiar with County government, Dumler cannot be removed from his position on the six-person governing body without his own resignation or without a criminal conviction.

Dumler appears to be a stranger to a life of crime. A volunteer firefighter and an Eagle Scout, he serves as a captain in the reserve division of the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General Corps. Shortly before his election last November, he hiked the path of the proposed Western Bypass in an effort to highlight his opposition to the controversial road.

Hook legal analyst David Heilberg says that while the burden of securing bail in such a serious case as Dumler's falls on the defendant, it may not be impossible for Dumler to secure it.

"A pure he said/she said with someone who had otherwise led a clean life up until that point should be able to overcome the presumption," said Heilberg, though he cautioned that he and most others remain completely unaware of the state's evidence. "Because there's a presumption, they don't have to tell you much about the underlying facts."

Heilberg also asserts that Chapman will probably step aside.

"The local prosecutors will have conflicts of interest," says Heilberg. "They'll probably want to bring in a prosecutor from outside the area."

According to his blog, Dumler participated in a charity event last month at a new brewery in Scottsville in which he directed that the proceeds from his pours go to the charity of his choice. He chose SARA, the Sexual Assault Resource Agency.

–developing story: updated at 9:50am, Thursday, October 18 and again at 4:36pm after adding Heilberg's comments and changing mentions of "bond" to "bail"

Read more on: Christopher Dumler

52 comments

Man, bring back Lindsay Dorrier!

Was Denise Lundford involved in this? I would like to know if the motivation is because he is an elected official? There are so many college students who report rape and forcible sodomy crimes which result in zero arrests/investigations. Why this case? Can you provide an age/profile of the accuser? Was the accuser a college student?

Remember, innocent until proven guilty. Lets wait until more information comes out before we try and convict him in the comments section of a blog..

As usual, the left-wing do-gooders have already convicted the guy without trial. Talk about star-chamber judgements.

To be honest, I sort of thought he was out.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, I should add.

The real question now is will the local Democrats try to protect him w/ the usual cliches about "not rushing to judgment" in order to preserve their radical no-growth environmental agenda, or will they throw him under the bus and basically force him to resign for being credibly accused of a brutal sexual assault.

The law states in Virginia:
§ 18.2-361
Crimes against nature

A. If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, except as provided in subsection B.

B. Any person who carnally knows by the anus or by or with the mouth his daughter or granddaughter, son or grandson, brother or sister, or father or mother shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. However, if a parent or grandparent commits any such act with his child or grandchild and such child or grandchild is at least thirteen but less than eighteen years of age at the time of the offense, such parent or grandparent shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony.

Per Cotton, if the "local Democrats" call for Dunler's resignation, they're "throwing him under the bus". If they do nothing and let the system run its course, they're "protecting him to preserve their 'radical agenda'."

Sounds like Cotton's the one with the agenda here.

How to spell "Dumler"

"The real question now is..."

In other words, you've created a scenario where regardless of what happens, your prejudices will be validated, a posteriori.

If this is true, there is a victim out there people and this is NO place for incessant, self-serving political spin about liberals. For most of the human race, every action does not exist solely so that an opposing political party can be blamed.

@girlygirl: There are always victims out there and yet the perps are never ever convicted...so it is important to ask the question "Why this man?". If the motive to arrest him was purely political, then every victim of sexual assault residing in Albemarle Country needs to march upon the CA office and demand that their perps get arrested too. A crime is a crime and every crime should be properly handled -- however, we all know that this is not and has not been the case in Albemarle County.

@girlygirl: There are always victims out there and yet the perps are never ever arrested...so it is important to ask the question "Why this man?". If the motive to arrest him was purely political, then every victim of sexual assault residing in Albemarle Country needs to march upon the CA office and demand that their perps get arrested too. A crime is a crime and every crime should be properly handled -- however, we all know that this is not and has not been the case in Albemarle County.

Even if Chris is cleared, do you ever recover from something like this?

Bill Clinton recovered quite nicely.

Yes, but look at who Bill Clinton is married to.....

Fred,

You know that section § 18.2-361 A was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, right? At least find the section on forcible sodomy or rape.

Hopefully this guy didn't screw up his political and professional career. The Daily Progress said "A woman who identified herself as Dumler’s girlfriend offered to help post his bond."

girlygirl -- your victim may be a third person or the victim could be a falsely accused Dumler. We don't yet know, do we?

Hopefully, the plaintiff is a republican.

I think this man is sick. I do not want him in my home town of Scottsville and Am disgused that he had the nerve to donate money to SARA. makes you wonder how long hes been doing this to people.

This man is sick! I do not want him living or near my town of Scottsville. How horrible to think he had the nerve to donate money to SARA. makes you wonder how many times hes done this to people.

This is sick! I do not want him living near my town of Scottsville. How horrible to think he had the nerve to donate money to SARA. makes you wonder how many times hes done this to people.

carrie/Jennifer: What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Wow, carrie, Jennifer (same person?) -- guess you miss the old lynching mob days.

Some say it's "too early to speculate," but I say that's crap. This is precisely the time to speculate, and my speculation is that Dumler's innocent. Look at the facts we know: A 27 year-old total striver who's never been in trouble with the law before is going to commit a violent sexual felony out-of-the-blue? A boy scout. A frickin' Eagle Scout! I don't think so.

This isn't a DUI beef or some sordid drunken domestic violence charge. This is really serious. A violent felony w/ life in prison on the table.

I imagine there will be a recantation in the near future and a complete exoneration of Dumler.

No one ever recants. It's harder than calling off a wedding once standing before the preacher. And the police tend to keep it going, not wanting to see a loss. No one ever recants.

@Cotton I have no idea as to his guilt or innocence, but look at the records, being an Eagle Scout or a priest,for that matter, does not the whole story tell.

"Boy Scout 'perversion files': Public gets unprecedented look at secret records on suspected abusersAimee Green, The Oregonian10/18/2012 11:05 AM"

http://mobile.oregonlive.com/advorg/pm_29233/contentdetail.htm?contentgu...
Sent from my iPhone

False accusation is one possible explanation.

Funny how differently liberals respond to a story like this when it's one of their own in the crosshairs. Suddenly they remember due process and presumption of innocence -- notions they completely disregard when it's a Republican being accused.

The guy deserves a fair shake. If he did it, he's done. If this is another Duke lacrosse, I hope the girl is outed and shamed.

I find many of the comments here to be offensive, ignorant, and immature. First, political party affiliation should not be included in such a discussion - not everything in life is political. Second, until the facts come out - there is little point in speculating guilt or innocence. And finally, sexual assault happens far more often than most people are aware. Perpetrators are democrats/republicans, wealthy/poor, well-educated/blue collar, Christian/Atheist, priests, teachers, doctors, lawyers, youth pastors, fathers, grandfathers, and brothers. This is a problem that affects all kinds of people and crosses all cultural, religious, social, and economic boundaries. Perpetrators would be convicted far more often if our society would wake up to this reality.

Agree with the last comment. IF this is a false accusation, prosecute the woman and the CA who brought the charges forward. Many victims who were turned away from the CA office are very interested in this case and the "due process".

How do we know anal sex is alleged, as many sexual practices are considered sodomy in the state of VA? I understand and respect "forcible," but I think folks need to know that sodomy does refer only to anal sex.

How do we know anal sex is alleged, as many sexual practices are considered sodomy in the state of VA? I understand and respect "forcible," but I think folks need to know that sodomy does not refer only to anal sex.

Nancy, I don't spout out often concerning your posts, but what does he being an Eagle Scout or involving Priests in the discussion, the story tell? That comment and link is disgusting. Innocent until proven guilty. End of story. You trying to lump this guy into the same heap of the perverted others is appalling.

This occurrance may not be as out-of-the-blue as we think. Perhaps someone from the Class of 2009 at UVA Law School can shed some light on the rumors of similar incident allegedly involving Dumler while he was a student. Charges were never filed, but there are indications there was an investigation. Maybe the authorities will look into it.

Marcy, I completely agree with you. It is disgusting that so many people are turning this into politics. Either a violent crime was committed, or a heinous lie was told. It is a further debasement of our society that so many people on this thread are trying to turn this into a commentary on politics. It's tiresome and reductionist.

"How do we know anal sex is alleged?"

There's a small hint in the first sentence of the article.

@Paul sorry for the mIsunderstanding. I was only pointing out that one's outside affiliations are not the determinants when investigating a crime. I was not passing judgment in this case but only responding to a comment made by another commenter .

Take heart, Supervisor Dumler. There are still sane people in Scottsville that believe in the Rule of Law. If you are truly innocent of this accusation (as I hope you are) I wish you the best in this time of strife and turmoil. Good luck.

If Dumler enaged in consensual anal sex with a young woman who was too inebriated to give consent, that is rape.

If it was truly consensual, then he's exposed as a slimeball. Scottsville voters can respond accordingly.

The only scenario that results in Dumler coming out of this ok is if the allegations are completely false. No sex at all, it never happened, and he's been faithful to his live-in girlfriend.

Who wants to wager on which is closest to the truth?

This has no bearing on the charges or his character, but Supervisor Dumler renounced (gave up) his Eagle Scout badge earlier this summer.

The Rule of Law must prevail here. Without it we have not even got a government.

It is only fair that this guy not be prosecuted in fact by allowing speculation and unkind comment to essentially damn him before the courts can begin to evaluate the actual facts. There are those who would use the publicity to alter the political decisions associated with this mans elected office.

We have a prime example of why the law must be respected and the legal process needs to be strictly protected. If we cannot trust our judges and attorneys then we have no judicial system.

Someone who has consensual anal sex (with a woman even!) is a slimeball?

@dan1101 .... i thought the same thing, but it appears expat is referring to the fact that the guy has a live-in GF, on whom he presumably cheated w/ his accuser.

True...maybe the GF is the one that accused and that tried to bail him out too, hard to tell. Just speculation is all we have.

Really? Does it matter? Whether he has a girlfriend or not, some people have open relationships. It's really none of our business what has lifestyle is - what matters is whether or not he sodomized this woman against her will or he simply "missed". OR she felt guilty about getting "Dumler-ed" the next morning. Just because he has anal sex doesn't make him a slimeball. If that's the case, I (and many of you) are slimeballs as well.....

Amanda, If that is true then the people from the 2009 investigations should step forward as well. Who knew we had a serial rapist living in Scottsville.

Christy, there are over 100 sex offenders living in that part of the world...go to the sex offender registry...it's sickening....

If I understand Expat correctly, s/he is saying that cheating on a live in gf is slimy. On that I agree, as I think most Scottsville voters would. Does it disqualify him from office? Of course not. But it definitely is a reflection of character, which can and should inform a voter's choice.

We're turning off comments here as there's an updated story: http://www.readthehook.com/108359/bail-set-dumler-must-raise-50k-and-for...