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Sexual battery suspect sent suggestive e-mails

July 13, 2001

ISLE OF WIGHT - While authorities were investigating allegations that a Smithfield man sexually battered a 12-year-old boy, the suspect continued to send sexually suggestive e-mails to the boy's parents, police said.

Marc C. Gillions, 39, was charged Monday by an Isle of Wight grand jury with two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

The charges stem from accusations made by the boy who took bass-guitar lessons at Gillions' home on Berryman Court. The boy told police that on several occasions from January to April, Gillions asked him to take down his pants and underwear and lay across Gillions' lap for a spanking.

The boy told his parents about the assaults and they went to police.

Gillions had a history of corresponding by e-mail with the boy's family, police said. While police were looking into the allegations, Gillions continued sending the e-mail messages. In some of the messages, Gillions made references to masturbating while fantasizing about his music student, according to the police complaint seeking a search warrant for Gillions' home.

Police searched Gillions home April 26. They confiscated computer equipment and more than 200 videotapes.

The e-mails were not the source of the complaint against Gillions, said Smithfield Police Lt. Kurt Beach. The parents had already spoken to police based on their son telling them about the spankings.

After news of the charges came out in the press, a former student from Gillions' days at Hampton High School came forward to report similar incidents. The student, who graduated in 1985, said that when Gillions was his band instructor, Gillions beat him on the bare buttocks with a drumstick. Gillions told him the beating was "discipline" after the student was caught drinking on a band trip. That incident, police said, allegedly took place at Gillions' apartment.

"It was a beating," the former student said. "It was terrible."

Now 16 years later, the former student, who asked not to be identified, has told his story to Smithfield police.

Neither Gillions nor his attorney could be reached for comment Thursday.

The student says there are other victims. He said he knows of at least three other Hampton High students who were hit similarly by Gillions in 1985. He said parents complained to the school then about the band instructor's conduct.

Hampton school officials confirmed that Gillions was band director at Hampton High School from 1984 to 1986. School spokeswoman Ann Stephens would not say why Gillions left his job, or whether there had ever been complaints about his conduct.

Isle of Wight Commonwealth's Attorney W. Parker Councill said he does not believe Gillions has had previous arrests.

Under the law, hitting the naked buttocks constitutes sexual battery.

Jessie Halladay can be reached at 357-6392. Send email to***

By Jessie Halladay, Daily Press. Copyright © 2001


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