A former Fairfax County police officer and firefighter was sentenced in a packed courtroom Friday to serve a five year-prison term after he was convicted of forcibly sodomizing his ex-girlfriend.
James Craig Summers, 56, a Burke resident who served with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department for over 30 years before he became a police officer, received a 7-year prison term, with two years suspended. His attorney, Ghislaine Storr Burks, indicated in court that she would lodge an appeal of the jury's verdict.
The victim had testified during Summers' trial last April that on one night in 2009 while she was dating Summers, he had grabbed her arm, twisted it around her back and handcuffed her. He then forcibly anally sodomized her, despite her pleas for him to stop, she said. The victim said that she had not reported the attack, which took place in the Manassas area, for two and a half years out of fear that Summers would retaliate.
"She is never going to be the same," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kristina Robinson said of the victim. "What happened to her will always be with her."
Summers—who in the trial admitted having affairs before and after the relationship ended—maintained his innocence.
"I'm not the man I was characterized as last April," he said, but apologized to the victim for his behavior during that time.
"My actions were disrespectful and not honorable," Summers said.
The sentencing had seemed to those who knew Summers as an unlikely end to an otherwise apparently untarnished career. Two dozen of Summers' longtime friends, coworkers and family members—including his ex-wife—submitted letters to Farris on his behalf before the sentencing. They said the accusation was nothing like the man they knew, who served as a chaplain in the Fire and Rescue Department near the end of his employment there, and helped found Harvest Bible Chapel in Fairfax.
But at Summers' trial, Robinson called him a "manipulative personality," and "a liar and a cheat" who had managed to deceive both his wife and friends about his true behavior.
Judge Lon Farris upheld the jury's recommendation of seven years, and ordered Summers to have no contact with the victim. He also ordered that Summers reimburse her for up to $5,000 costs for counseling.