Suspect in VCU skirt-lifting case faces other sex-related charges; has history of crimes

Published: Jan. 4, 2019 at 4:04 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond grand jury has indicted a man on several other sex-related crimes following his arrest for allegedly lifting women’s skirts near the Virginia Commonwealth University campus.

In September 2018 VCU Police posted an alert about reported incidents that occurred Sept. 21 and 22 on Harrison Street and Brunswick Street. In both cases, a woman reported an unidentified man ran up behind her and lifted her skirt. In the second incident, the woman reported seeing a flash of light, which police believe may have been from a smartphone camera.

VCU released video of the suspect taken from a surveillance camera.

Police identified the suspect as Justin Harvey, 26, of Colonial Heights. He was arrested Sept. 27 and charged with two counts of unlawful filming.

Friday morning Richmond police announced a grand jury had indicted Harvey on several other sex-related crimes that occurred in The Fan.

"We're just glad we were able to get this violent individual off the street," said Richmond Police Det. Benjamin Neifeld.

“It’s definitely shocking because this is an artistic haven,” said Matt McDaniels, who lives in The Fan. “This is a place where people can come make art, be safe, learn and be educated.”

In March 2018 police said Harvey attacked a woman in the 1800 block of Grove Avenue before she could get inside her apartment. He faces a sexual battery charge for the crime.

Just two months later and two blocks away, Harvey broke into an apartment and assaulted a woman.

However on May 6, 2018, the night after the second Grove Avenue assault, Richmond police say Harvey broke into an apartment in the 1000 block of Park Avenue where he raped a woman inside.

Police arrested Justin Harvey, 26, and charged him with one count of sexual battery for...
Police arrested Justin Harvey, 26, and charged him with one count of sexual battery for allegedly lifting women's skirts on VCU campus. (Source: VCU Police)

“Makes me feel good that they actually caught him, but it doesn’t make me feel good that he’s performed so many acts,” said a woman who lives on Grove Avenue.

In all, Harvey is charged with one count of sexual battery, aggravated sexual battery, rape, two counts of statutory burglary, malicious wounding simple assault and two counts of unlawful videoing.

Neifeld said they aren’t done investigating.

"I would encourage people that may have had a similar experience over the last several years in The Fan or any area around there to come forward," he added.

Meanwhile, online court records in Chesterfield County show this wasn’t Harvey’s first run-in with the law for sex crimes.

In 2012 he was charged with two counts of simulated masturbation where he pleaded guilty and served six months and paid fines.

In 2014 he was arrested for up-skirting two women while filming them inside a Kohl’s dressing room. He pleaded guilty and served a total of 12 months and paid fines.

“Should he be out on the streets? Given what I know, I don’t think so,” McDaniels said.

“I think he needs to go and get some help,” a Fan resident said. “He needs to probably be put in jail for what he did.”

According to officials, Harvey is not affiliated with VCU.

Harvey is currently being held at Richmond City Justice Center without bond.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

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