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Portsmouth lawyer pleads to assault

A Portsmouth lawyer accused of inappropriately touching a female deputy has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

Sterling H. Weaver Sr., 65, entered an Alford plea, which means he did not admit guilt but acknowledged the evidence was sufficient for a conviction, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Weaver was indicted in February on charges of felony assault and battery of a law enforcement officer and misdemeanor sexual battery.

Michael D. Defricke, a special prosecutor from Virginia Beach, asked that the first charge be amended to misdemeanor assault and that the sexual battery charge be withdrawn, the paper reported.

Under terms of a plea agreement, Weaver was given a six-month suspended sentence, must pay court costs and must be on good behavior for two years. He must have no hostile contact with the deputy and must limit any contact to court-related matters, the report said.

Retired Prince William County Circuit Judge William D. Hamblen was appointed to hear the case after Portsmouth judges recused themselves.

Weaver was reprimanded by the Virginia State Bar in 1997 after being accused of having sexual relations with a client. A later conviction for contempt of court – based on alleged failure to prepare for trial – was overturned by the Court of Appeals of Virginia in 2002.

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