Hopewell jury recommends 100 year sentence for family abuse case - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Hopewell jury recommends 100 year sentence for family abuse case

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) -

A jury recommended a 100 year prison sentence for a former Hopewell resident, accused of sexual contact with a teenage relative. Hopewell's prosecutor presented DNA evidence at trial, indicating the defendant fathered the girl's child.

The trial for 43-year-old Edward Marcano began and ended on the same day, with the century-long sentence recommended within a few hours. Marcano is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. National Guard, who lived in Virginia from 2003-2010.

"You get those types of sentences when juries are truly offended by the conduct involved, and have no doubt whatsoever about the person's guilt," said NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin in an interview Thursday. "In a jury setting, jurors are not told on purpose what average sentences are. That helps explain the 100 year term."

Indictments reveal the abuse happened between April 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. At the time, the victim was between 13 and 18 years old.

The victim has now moved to a different part of the country with her child, and said in a phone interview that she is doing well. She would like people who may be in similar situations to know help exists nearby, and information will be kept confidential.

The James House is one of Hopewell's cost-free resources, for people who have experienced sexual or domestic violence.

"We provide counseling, support groups and a 24/7 hotline that people can call," said Elvira De La Cruz, director of programs and services at the James House. "When people call, the first thing we do is trust them. Because trust is so important for us to find help and work together."

Once the victim called for help in the Marcano case, Hopewell Police acted swiftly. Marcano moved to Boynton Beach, Fla., where police arrested him and returned him to Virginia. A judge held him under no bond, and sent him to Riverside Regional Jail.

Marcano's lawyer asked for a mental evaluation for his client, saying Marcano suffered from a psychological disturbance, and could not understand the gravity of the accusations.

Final sentencing will be held July 9 in Hopewell Circuit Court, when a judge will decide whether or not to uphold the 100 year prison term.

The 24/7 James House Crisis Hotline can be called at (804) 458-2840.

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