Ex-Portsmouth officer sentenced to 5 years; pleaded guilty to lesser charge after being charged with rape


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A former Portsmouth police officer who pleaded guilty to a lesser charge after originally being charged with rape will serve five years in prison.

Cleshaun Cox pleaded guilty to a charge of carnal knowledge and abduction in August after his charge of rape was amended in court. He received a 15-year sentence with 10 years suspended in October. He’ll serve five years with three years of supervised probation.

The victim was 17 at the time of the incident and said she was afraid she would die in the encounter with Cox, who had been on the police force for over a year when he was arrested in 2019.

She testified testified in 2020: “I couldn’t even tell if I was even going to come out of the situation alive. Seriously. I was just thinking in my head the whole time that this is like the movies. Like, this is how the girls die.”

After Cox entered the plea in August, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Shea Coleman said in a statement: “The Commonwealth is committed to achieving justice for the victim in this matter and has an interest in assisting her in gaining control of her life as a survivor. Mr. Cox’s plea of guilty and acceptance of accountability moved that process one step further today.”

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