A 28-year-old man is facing 46 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to several charges in connection with the 2018 sexual assault and abduction of a then-11-year-old girl who was attacked while walking to school in her Woodbridge neighborhood.
Adam-Seth Walter, 28, of no fixed address, was arrested on Oct. 9, 2018, in connection with the incident, during which both the girl and a woman who witnessed the attack and tried to intervene were assaulted.
The brazen crime shocked the community when it occurred both because of its timing – in the morning on a school day – and the random nature of the attack. The girl was walking to school in the area of 14200 Essex Drive, a residential area east of Interstate 95 in Woodbridge, when a man grabbed her and implied he had a weapon, Prince William County police said at the time.
The witness, a 34-year-old woman, was standing in front of her home when the abduction occurred and confronted the man, prompting him to assault her, causing “significant injuries.” The man then forced both the woman and the girl into the woman’s home, police said at the time.
Another occupant of the house attempted to intervene, but the man fled the home with the girl, police said.
When the man left, the witness called police. The abductor took the girl to an address on Cumberland Drive where he sexually assaulted her, police said.
The man eventually released the girl, who fled on foot and found a police officer who had been dispatched to the area.
Police arrested Walter later in the day and charged him with the crime based on evidence retrieved after the abduction and sexual assault, police said.
Walter pleaded guilty to one count each of abduction, abduction with intent to defile, rape of a victim under 13, malicious wounding and robbery. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of forcible sodomy with a victim under 13, according to a Thursday press release from Commonwealth’s Attorney Amy Ashworth’s office.
In a statement, Ashworth said she hoped the outcome of the case would help restore a sense of safety in the Woodbridge community.
“Justice has a role in giving peace of mind to both victims and the communities around them. Ultimately, the outcome of this case represents, among many things, a large step towards rebuilding the feeling of safety in this particular community that was lost when this traumatic incident occurred,” Ashworth said.
The case was prosecuted by the “special victims unit” of Ashworth’s office, which is led by Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Regan Kline. It is one of five units Ashworth created in January 2020 with the goal of “combatting crimes that cause the most harm” to the citizens of Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, the press release said.
“The commonwealth’s attorney commends the Prince William County Police Department, particularly Detectives Cainas and Qura, for their investigation of this case,” the statement said.