His reason? Revenge against the girls’ father, whom he accused of sleeping with his girlfriend while he was serving time for a third driving while intoxicated offense.
Cromer entered guilty pleas to charges of aggravated sexual battery and rape of a child under the age of 13. In court, he showed no emotion and no remorse over his act.
Cromer will be sentenced Sept. 14. Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Shortt also wants a victim impact evaluation as part of the pre-sentencing report. She expects a long hearing and Cromer faces a prison term, where child molesters often do hard-time at the hands of fellow inmates who consider them lower than dirt.
Since returning to Floyd County in 2004, I’ve covered too many cases of an adult sexually assaulting a child, including a grandfather raping his granddaughter and then telling the judge that “I love my granddaughter. I guess I just love her too much” and a teenager abusing his sister and then having his grandfather come to his defense and say the young man was just “going through a phase that all teen-age boys go through.”
I’ve left the courtroom shaking with anger. Prolonged exposure to inhuman depravity does that, even to someone who considered himself a hardened newsman unmoved by such things.
The Virginia State Police Sexual Offenders and Crimes Against Minors Database current lists 21 sexual offenders in Floyd County.
Josh Cromer will become number 22.
He isn’t the first sexual predator to face justice in a Floyd County Courtroom.
Sadly, he won’t be the last.