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Local church deacon charged with rape, strangulation

A Charlottesville man who serves as a church deacon will be in court Friday to appeal the denial of bond after his April 27 arrest on charges that include rape and strangulation.

Richard Murray Coe is 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 related to events that occurred several years ago.

Coe is currently being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, jail officials confirmed. He is scheduled for a Friday hearing in Charlottesville Circuit Court to appeal a Juvenile and Domestic Relations judge’s denial of bond, according to court records.

Because the charges are in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, access to information is limited to protect victims’ identities.

Coe, who also goes by the name Trey Coe, is a local businessman who also serves as a deacon at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Church officials said Tuesday 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.

“It did not occur on church property or in any association with a church event and it was independent of his role as a deacon,” said Pastor Walter Kim. “[It] would have occurred before he had become a deacon.”

Kim said church leaders are saddened by the allegations that led to the charges against Coe.

“We absolutely grieve these allegations and what they represent. We know that law enforcement will investigate the incident and we will certainly cooperate,” Kim said. “At this point, our greatest concern is for the families involved who are deeply hurting. We will commit to prayer and cooperation. We take allegations of this nature with deep concern.”

Coe is also scheduled for a June 4 hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.


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