A Madison Heights man accused of sexually abusing a minor was granted a $7,500 secured bond in Amherst Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Robert Lonnell Adams, 43, of Madison Heights, faces one count each of sexually assaulting a minor under age 13, carnal knowledge of a minor, indecent liberties with a child younger than age 15 and forcible sodomy of a minor younger than age 13, according to arrest warrants. The charges date back to 2003 and 2013, according to statements made during a bond appeal hearing Tuesday before Judge Michael Garrett.
Adams has been in custody since the first week of January. He recently served as coordinator of Amherst County Public Schools’ Alternative to Suspension Center.
Jim Gallagher, chief of human resources for Amherst County Public Schools, said Adams began employment with the division in the fall of the 2018-19 school year in a coaching capacity. Adams was hired as an at-risk coordinator for the division’s Alternative to Suspension Center on Feb. 1, 2019.
Chuck Felmlee, Adams’ attorney, requested a $5,000 secured bond release. Adams’ family testified the defendant, a former football standout at William Campbell High School who played defensive end at Virginia Tech, has a history of working with at-risk youth.
Femlee said Adams has no prior criminal record, turned himself in to authorities when he became aware of the arrest warrants and described him as a positive member of the community.
“Rob has always denied any wrongdoing,” Felmlee said.
Felmlee said in court Adams has been suspended from his position with the school system and he doesn’t expect his contract to be renewed. Gallagher said in an email following the hearing Tuesday he could not further comment on the personnel matter.
The person who brought forward the allegations, a minor at the time of the alleged offenses, is now an adult, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Adam Stanley.
Stanley said of the allegations of inappropriate sexual contact: “Quite frankly, they’re very disturbing.”
Garrett said he does not believe Adams is a flight risk or presents a danger while awaiting further court proceedings. Conditions of the bond include Adams residing at a family member’s residence in Chester and he must not possess a firearm or have contact with the person who raised the allegations.
A preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. March 31 in Amherst Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.