A Chesterfield County judge on Wednesday decided not to impose any active prison time on a former Cosby High School student who prosecutors say tied up and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl after they attended a school play together.
Noting that discretionary state sentencing guidelines called for probation and no incarceration, Chesterfield Circuit Judge T.J. Hauler declined to depart from his conditional decision in January, when he sentenced 19-year-old Logan Michael Osborn to 10 years in prison with eight years suspended. But in January and again on Wednesday, Hauler stayed execution of the entire two-year active term.
The stayed portion of the sentence is tantamount to suspending the entire 10-year prison term for his conviction of having carnal knowledge of the girl. Osborn pleaded guilty to the charge Sept. 11 in an agreement that prosecutors wouldn’t pursue a forcible sodomy indictment.
On Jan. 4, after the judge pronounced the sentence but stayed execution of the punishment for six months, Hauler said he wanted more time to review the case. “I will decide then how much of the two years you will actually serve,” the judge told Osborn at the time.
The victim did not attend Wednesday’s hearing, but several of her family members were present.
“The family is disappointed that the defendant will not serve any active incarceration for the brutal attack on the victim,” said Chesterfield prosecutor Erin Barr after the proceeding, speaking on behalf of the family, who declined to comment. “They do not believe justice has been served and shared concern for community safety and future potential victims.”
According to the prosecution, Osborn forced himself on the victim after getting her alone and tied a belt around her neck and hands before the assault.
Osborn’s attorney has described the sexual encounter as consensual and said that a series of text messages the girl and Osborn exchanged “supports his version of the facts.”
At the outset of Wednesday’s hearing, after defense attorney Todd Stone advised that he had additional evidence to present, Hauler said: “I need to hear some positive things.”
Stone called James Trent, a foreman for an electrical company performing work on Dominion Energy’s new office tower in downtown Richmond.
Trent provided a glowing assessment of Osborn, describing him as a model employee with an exceptional work ethic and positive attitude. He said Osborn will be recommended for an apprenticeship program that could result in him earning his electrician journeyman’s license.
“The sky’s the limit,” Trent said of Osborn’s future with the company.
The judge asked Trent if he was aware that Osborn is a convicted felon. “Yes,” Trent replied.
Barr noted that Osborn has been accused seven times of engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct with girls, and one of those earlier incidents resulted in him being charged, at age 12, with grabbing the genitals of another student. The case was taken under advisement by the court and eventually dismissed.
According to a summary of evidence in the latest case, Osborn and the victim met for the first time at prom. A week later, on April 28, 2017, they attended a play together at Cosby High at Osborn’s invitation.
When the play ended earlier than expected, Osborn and the girl went for a walk. The victim was not a student at or familiar with Cosby, and Osborn led her down a path from where people were gathered for a sporting event, Barr said.
The path ended at a fence, where Osborn’s demeanor changed and he became forceful with her, the prosecutor said. Barr said Osborn pushed her to her knees and tied a belt around her neck and hands before forcing her to perform a sex act.
The victim was crying during the assault, and at one point Osborn picked her up and pushed her against the fence, and then pushed her back on her knees, Barr said.
When it was almost time for the girl’s mother to pick her up, Osborn untied the victim and let her up. She quickly walked back to the school and spoke with her mother by video chat, the prosecutor said.
Upon seeing her daughter, the mother immediately knew something was wrong. Osborn followed the girl back to the school and then left for home, Barr said.
The girl’s mother immediately questioned her about what happened. The girl told her mother on the way home what Osborn did, and the family immediately called police and took her to St. Mary’s Hospital for a forensic exam, the prosecutor said.
Stone, the defense attorney, previously has said that the girl seemed agreeable to Osborn’s suggestion in a text message that they leave the play a little early and have some fun. “Sure, I’d love that,” she replied.
But Barr has said the girl was only “mirroring back” to Osborn what he suggested. She didn’t understand the consequence, and Osborn took advantage of the girl’s youth and naivety, the prosecutor said in January.
The prosecutor added that at 14, the girl couldn’t legally consent to sex, and said it was offensive to suggest that she had agreed to it in advance based on a few text messages.
Barr noted that Dr. Evan Nelson, a clinical psychologist who evaluated the defendant, determined through standardized testing that Osborn was at “moderately high risk” for reoffending. But Nelson believed the test underestimated Osborn’s risk, which the psychologist labeled as “high.”
Osborn, who will be required to register as a sex offender, played football and wrestled at Cosby and earned a 3.47 grade-point average. With his conviction, he lost an academic scholarship to study chemistry at the University of Mary Washington.