Man accused of sexually assaulting teen in Westover parking lot remains in jail

WESTOVER — A man accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Westover will remain in jail on $100,000 bond and his case will be presented to a grand jury, Magistrate Tim Pocius ruled following a preliminary hearing on Monday.
Kurtis Byrd, 50, of Youngstown, Ohio, is charged with second-degree sexual assault. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gabrielle Mucciola said she was not sure if Byrd’s case would be presented to the May grand jury.
Ryan C. Shreve, Byrd’s attorney, requested a reduction in bond to $25,000. He said Byrd was motivated to appear in court and not a danger to Morgantown or any other community. The $100,000 bond, Shreve argued, was effectively a denial of bond because Byrd lacked the means to post it.
Mucciola objected and pointed to the heinous nature of the charge and Byrd’s multi-state record, including charges in Nevada and Ohio. The charges include grand theft auto and drug charges, she said.
Pocius rejected the motion to reduce Byrd’s bond.
Westover Police Officer S. Hilling testified he was the detective on duty April 21, the night of the incident.
He said the investigation revealed Byrd got into the 16-year-old victim’s car at McDonald’s in Westover and told her to order him food. Video footage obtained from the fast food chain shows the victim paying for and receiving two orders, Hilling said.
The Dominion Post does not typically name the victims or alleged victims of sexual crimes.
Byrd then had the alleged victim drive to the Econo Lodge on Commerce Drive, where he was staying. Hilling said Byrd attempted to convince the girl to come to his room but she refused. He then grabbed her head and forced her to perform oral sex, Hilling said.
After he was done, Byrd made the girl enter his contact information into her phone and again attempted to get her into his hotel.
She said she would go later, and after he left the girl texted her mom she was never going anywhere alone again and drove home, Hilling testified.
The woman then went to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital where a sexual assault nurse examiner performed an exam which showed findings consistent with the girl’s story. The SANE also collected bodily fluid the girl spit onto her windshield. Hilling said both the evidence collected by the SANE and a sample of Byrd’s DNA have been sent for testing.

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