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Thomas Gail Fitzpatrick
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
A southeast Roanoke man admitted Wednesday that he sexually abused a young relative across several years.
Thomas Gail Fitzpatrick, 70, pleaded guilty in Roanoke Circuit Court to three counts of aggravated sexual battery against a victim who told investigators the incidents started happening when the relative was just 6 or 7 years old.
As part of Fitzpatrick's plea, one count of animate object sexual penetration he had faced was dismissed.
Prosecutors said that Fitzpatrick, who faces up to 60 years in prison, was unusually forthcoming during the investigation.
"Unlike so many other cases, he was very cooperative," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Alice Ekirch said afterward. "He came down to the police department, gave a statement. He said it was kind of like an addiction."
She said Fitzpatrick gave his victim money after the instances occurred, and he seemed apologetic at Wednesday's hearing.
"He said he felt like this [his guilty plea] was the least he could do to prevent further harm," Ekirch said.
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