FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 11, 2014
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
Basketball Coach Sentenced to Prison for Sex Offenses with Former Youth Player
JUDGE IMPOSES FIFTEEN YEARS
LEESBURG, Virginia – September 10, 2014. Marlow Mokassa Afshartous (a/k/a Marlow Talley), 40, appeared before Judge J. Howe Brown in Loudoun County Circuit Court for sentencing on one count of sodomy and one count of object sexual penetration. Brown imposed a total active sentence of fifteen years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
Afshartous formerly coached a number of basketball teams in the District of Columbia and across Northern Virginia, including a team at the Claude Moore Recreation Center in Sterling. The charges stem from a sexual relationship that Afshartous had with one of his twelve year old Sterling players in 2012. The relationship came to light when the victim disclosed the relationship and numerous text messages between her and Afshartous to her mother and a close family friend.
Afshartous entered pleas of “no contest” to the charges on June 5, 2014. When a defendant enters a plea of no contest, they do not admit guilt, but are not challenging or contesting the prosecution’s evidence. Pleas of no contest result in a finding of guilt by the Court.
Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Gigi Lawless argued that Afshartous was a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and that his behavior was unacceptable in a civilized society. Lawless went on to ask the court to impose a sentence that would speak for all the “little voices” in the community, sending a message that if you are in a position to supervise children and you violate the trust given to you by their parents, you should be punished accordingly.
The Court agreed with Lawless’ argument and imposed a sentence in accordance with the high end of the sentencing guidelines for these offenses. “The Court is satisfied that the defendant initiated contact with the child based on the evidence presented,” said Judge Brown. “The defendant took advantage of the victim in this case and that Court thinks that’s serious and egregious behavior,” continued Brown.
Afshartous received an additional eighty years of suspended time. Upon his release, he will be placed on indefinite supervised probation, he is prohibited from any contact with the victim, any unsupervised contact with minors, and must successfully complete a sex offender treatment program.
Pursuant to Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act, Afshartous will also be required to register as a sex offender. Information about the Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry and those on it can be found on the Virginia State Police website: http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov.