On Monday, a Waynesboro Circuit Court judge set an October trial date for a former city businessman accused of sexually abusing a girl starting in 2014.
Leighton Hughes Justice, 46, was indicted July 8 by a Waynesboro grand jury on 10 felony counts of sodomy against a child and 10 additional sex charges involving a child between the ages of 13 and 17.
Justice had been charged by Waynesboro police on May 12 with five felony counts of aggravated sexual battery of a minor stemming from acts allegedly starting in 2014 and continuing for some time, according to Waynesboro Commonwealth’s Attorney David Ledbetter.
The Waynesboro Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office dropped the earlier charges as a result of the direct indictment on the new counts.
On Monday, a status and bond hearing was held in which Judge Paul Dryer set Oct. 23 for trial in the case.
If convicted, Justice could spend up to 20 years in prison on each count, totaling as much as 400 years if convicted on all charges.
Justice, who turned himself in at the Waynesboro Police Department following his arrest in May, was taken to Middle River Regional Jail in Verona, where he was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond at that time. Following last week’s indictment, he was rearrested Wednesday, according to online court records.
Dryer set conditions for Justice’s release from jail while awaiting trial, including obtaining a $10,000 secured bond and a requirement that he undergo pretrial supervision and adhere to the terms of any substance abuse testing that might be required, that he live with his mother in Altavista and that he have no contact with the alleged victim.
It was unclear whether Justice had met the terms of release on bond as of Monday.
Justice, along with two other men, opened The Fishin’ Pig in Waynesboro, the restaurant’s first franchise, on April 25, 2017. The original The Fishin’ Pig is in Farmville.
The restaurant issued a statement at the time of Justice’s initial arrest in May. “We are aware and monitoring the situation,” the statement read. “The individual in question has taken an indefinite leave of absence. We have no further comment at this time.”
He no longer has any ties to the business, according to the restaurant.
Ledbetter said Justice retained Thomas Weidner, a criminal attorney with offices in Fishersville and Staunton, as his counsel.