LA PLATA, MD— On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, after two days of trial and less than 30 minutes of deliberations, a Charles County jury convicted Lafayette Remoine Crutchfield, 44 of La Plata, of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Sexual Offense in the Second Degree, and two counts of Sexual Offense in the Third Degree.

On January 13, 2017, Detective Kristen Gross with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and a social worker from the Department of Social Services met with the victim, who is under the age of 14, at her school after receiving a mandated report of sexual abuse. During the meeting, the victim confirmed she was sexually assaulted by Crutchfield.

An investigation revealed that on November 25, 2016, Crutchfield sent the victim a text message asking to cuddle with her. After sending the message, Crutchfield entered the victim’s bedroom and sexually assaulted her. The victim’s account of the abuse was corroborated by text messages sent to her cellular device by Crutchfield. The text messages go back in time to April 2016 when the Defendant started to groom the victim.

The victim later reported the incident to a friend, who encouraged the victim to notify a teacher at her school. The victim did so.

During closing argument, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Freeman told the jury, “the Defendant preyed on the victim’s need to have a father in her life; he pretended to support and care for her simply to fulfill his own twisted sexual desires”. The text messages revealed there were times prior to November 25, 2016 in which the Defendant had inappropriate contact with the victim in her bedroom. Each time the Defendant apologized to the victim.

In 1999, Crutchfield plead guilty and was convicted of Child Abuse in Montgomery County, Maryland. Based on the jury’s findings of guilt in Charles County and his prior conviction, Crutchfield is facing a possibility of Life imprisonment. A sentencing date has been set for April 10, 2018.