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Grand jury to hear case of local church deacon charged with rape, strangulation of girl

The case against a Charlottesville church deacon will proceed to a circuit court grand jury following a recent preliminary hearing.

Richard “Trey” Coe was initially charged in Charlottesville Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court with four counts of rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of strangulation, according to court records.

The charges are all felonies and are related to incidents that occurred between 2013 and 2015, according to court records.

Following a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Charlottesville’s Juvenile and Domestic court, five charges were certified: two counts of rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of strangulation. The certified charges arise from incidents on May 10, 2015 and April 18, 2013, per court records.

The remaining two rape-related charges were dismissed and and stemmed from incidents on February 9, 2014 and November 16, 2014.

Coe is a businessman who also served as a deacon at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Church officials said in May that they are aware of the charges against Coe and that his arrest is not related in any way to Coe’s church position, the church itself or a church function.

Coe has been released on a $50,000 secured bond since a May 21 hearing in Charlottesville Circuit Court at which he appealed a Juvenile and Domestic Relations judge’s denial of bond.

As provisions of release, Coe is only allowed to travel to work and to his attorneys’ office.

The certified charges will be presented on Dec. 20 to a Charlottesville Circuit Court grand jury who will decide whether the case will proceed.


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