A Richmond, Virginia Marine Corps veteran who worked as a police officer has been sentenced to life behind bars for sexually assaulting a child. On Friday, Charles Church, 41, was given the life sentence.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that he was convicted last July of object sexual penetration of a child under 13.
According to the Associated Press, Church’s attorney is considering an appeal. The defense team points to a pair of Barbie underwear that belonged to the child. It was a piece of key evidence in this case as it contained DNA of Church and the victim. However, defense attorney William A. Efird III argues that the girl’s mother couldn’t identify the underwear as belonging to the victim and the victim doesn’t remember what underwear she wore when attacked. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the pair of Barbie underwear was found in a pile of Church’s clothing.
The young girl said that Church, who had worked as a cop for 12 years at that point, assaulted her twice in one night in 2015.
Church has maintained his innocence. His defense attorneys called him an “abusive alcoholic” but claimed he was never sexually abusive. According to the Associated Press, he was acquitted of sodomy and a second count of object sexual penetration in this case. Church also had child pornography charges against him dropped in a federal court after it was determined that the evidence was obtained during an illegal search.