Instead of jury trial, rape and abduction charges dropped in York

YORK —A jury trial scheduled for Thursday became a brief hearing and felony charges were dropped against a man accused of rape and abduction in York.

The charges against Ralph Bryan Sykes, whose address is listed in court records as Langley Air Force Base, were dropped by the prosecutor during the hearing in York-Poquoson Circuit Court. A Langley spokesman previously confirmed Sykes is in the U.S. Air Force.

The charges stemmed from an accusation, by a woman who is known to Sykes, that he forced himself on her sometime between Dec. 16 and Dec. 21, a York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office investigator said in May.

Sykes, who was indicted on the rape and abduction charges by a grand jury, had been scheduled for a one-day jury trial after pleading not guilty in June. In the court docket, Sykes trial was continued and a pre-trial motions hearing was scheduled for Thursday morning.

Also during Thursday’s hearing, a two-year protective order, handed down in April by a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge, was upheld by Thomas B. Hoover, the chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court. During the duration of the protective order Sykes is to have no contact with the woman who made the allegations — “no excuses,” Hoover said.

No explanation for the dropped charges was provided during the hearing. Afterward, York-Poquoson Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Amy Wilson said the decision was made “in consideration of the victim’s circumstances and views. There were a lot of factors that went into consideration.”


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