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Trial of former deacon charged with sex crimes delayed

The trial of a former Charlottesville deacon charged with a series of sexual crimes against a minor has been delayed nearly six months.

Richard “Trey” Coe, 35, currently faces 13 charges resulting from a series of alleged crimes against a minor with whose family he was in close contact.

Coe is a businessman who also served as a deacon at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Church officials said last May that his arrest is not related to Coe’s church position, the church itself or a church function.

It appears his connection to the church has been severed in the wake of the charges.

Coe was indicted in December on eight new charges following a Charlottesville Circuit Court grand jury hearing. The charges were sealed until Coe was arrested again on Jan. 5.

The new charges against Coe include four counts of rape of a victim aged less than 13, one count of strangulation and three counts of sexual battery. The charges relate to incidents occurring in 2012, according to court documents. The charges are in addition to five charges for which Coe was previously released on bond and all the charges result from incidents ranging between 2012 and 2016.

Coe had been set to begin a week-long trial on May 27, but that trial has been delayed to October following an uncontested motion to continue filed by his legal team.

According to the motion, various factors have complicated the case, including an inability to obtain “critical psychological records” and the death of one of Coe’s attorneys, John Zwerling.

In the year since his arrest Coe has twice been granted bond, once last June and again in January following his indictment on the second set of charges.

During Coe’s January bond hearing, his attorney, Chris Leibig, said that his client had been ‘stringent’ in complying with bond conditions following the first set of charges last May.

Though he was allowed to leave his home for work, Leibig said Coe had remained at home and was always in the presence of at least one family member.

Areshini Pather, deputy commonwealth’s attorney for Charlottesville, argued in part that Coe had not complied with an order requiring him to be supervised by Offender Aid and Restoration. She argued that a large reason he was granted bond was to work at his laundry business, which has been closed since October.

Ultimately Judge Claude Worrell granted Coe’s bond request, adding conditions that he must not consume alcohol or illegal drugs during his release. As previously, Coe is required to wear a GPS ankle monitor and will be monitored by Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail officials.

Coe’s five day trial is now scheduled to begin on October 21.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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