A former Lynchburg schoolteacher and coach was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a half in prison for breaking into his neighbors’ residence and stealing their underwear.
Kevin Charles Conway, 41, pleaded guilty in June to six counts each of burglary and petit larceny in Lynchburg Circuit Court.
A woman found Conway crouching in her closet when she came home to get ready for the gym on June 27 of last year, according to prosecutor Kelsey Parrish. He tried to give explanations for his behavior and delayed while she yelled at him to leave, then tried to flee after the altercation moved outside.
A neighbor saw what was happening and held Conway down as police arrived, Parrish said Wednesday while recounting evidence for Conway’s sentencing. A pair of the woman’s underwear that’d been stolen was found where Conway tried to hide — the first of several pairs, along with other stolen possessions, investigators found in Conway’s residence.
Though he was the woman’s neighbor at the Three Creeks Court townhouse complex, Parrish said the woman had never really met him. She started to notice some of her possessions going missing and changes or disturbances in the townhome in the late spring, then started to feel like she was being watched, leading to anxiety and interrupted sleep.
Conway told investigators a few different stories at first, according to Parrish, but eventually admitted he broke into the townhome 10 times through an unlocked window because he found the woman and her roommate attractive. He’d taken their underwear and used it for sexual purposes, and law enforcement found the underwear along with other stolen possessions when they searched his townhome.
A handful of people testified on Conway’s behalf in court Wednesday, all of whom said they were surprised at his charges and that they’d never seen him act inappropriately toward women or children.
Some were fellow teachers or parents of students Conway taught at Bedford Hills Elementary School and Linkhorne Middle School — one teacher said she received phone calls from parents after news of Conway’s charges broke, stating they never had any concerns about him. Conway also coached cross-country at Linkhorne until his employment with Lynchburg City Schools ended before entering his plea in June.
Parrish asked for a six-year sentence, basing her request on the danger Conway could present and the deviant sexual nature of the charges.
Chuck Felmlee, representing Conway, asked for no additional jail time since his client has been in jail for more than a year since his arrest. He pointed out Conway wasn’t actually charged with sex crimes, had no criminal record and took responsibility for his actions.
Felmlee said Conway apologized for his actions and promised he’d never end up in a criminal courtroom again.
Judge Leyburn Mosby Jr. sentenced Conway to an active term of one and a half years, with another year and a half of supervised probation afterward.
Considering how correctional sentences are calculated, Felmlee said he expected Conway to be released almost immediately. He said his client plans to move back with his family in Pennsylvania to start a new chapter, where he wouldn’t have contact with the victims ever again.