2018-05-16 / Front Page

Thirty years later, man faces sex abuse charges

By Ben Orcutt

More than 30 years after the alleged abuse occurred, a 79-year-old Blackstone man remains free on bond after being indicted by a Chesterfield Circuit Court grand jury on 10 counts of sexually abusing a female child relative under the age of 13.Henry Harvey HarfieldHenry Harvey Harfield

Henry Harvey Hairfield, of the 2200 block of Willis Road, Blackstone, was indicted by a March 19 Chesterfield Circuit Court grand jury charging him with four counts of rape, two counts of forcible sodomy and two counts of aggravated sexual battery against a child under the age of 13. He was also charged with two counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor with whom he had a custodial relationship. He was arrested on March 22.

The offenses are alleged to have occurred from July 1, 1975, through Aug. 16, 1987, and began when the victim was 5 years old.

If convicted of rape and/or forcible sodomy, Hairfield faces the possibility of being sentenced to life in prison.

The victim, now 48, told the Observer that authorities were made aware of her allegations some 30 years ago, but without elaborating, said the case did not proceed.

In recent weeks, however, the allegations were revisited and the victim said authorities feel they have sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction against Hairfield.

The victim preferred not to make more specific statements since the charges are pending. She did say that it was important to her for the case to proceed.

Hairfield remains free after posting a $100,000 surety bond, which prevents him from having contact with the victim. He has retained the services of W. Edward Riley IV of the Richmond law firm of Riley & Wells.

A status hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 8 in Circuit Court.

Court records indicate Hairfield does not have a criminal record and that he lives by himself. The victim said Hairfield worked as a surveyor, and is currently retired.

According to court records, Hairfield has a 10th-grade education.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Barbara B. Cooke. In an email to the Observer, Cooke confirmed that Hairfield posted bond.

“I am unable to comment further on any specifics of a pending case – particularly in this kind of case, in consideration of protecting the victim’s privacy as much as possible,” Cooke said. 

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