RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Colonial Heights man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for sexually assaulting multiple women in Richmond.
Justin Harvey was sentenced to 127 years in prison on June 24. Harvey has a long rap sheet when it comes to sex crimes that span across several localities. His predatory behavior dates back to at least 2012, but it was a string of assaults in the Fan that put Harvey behind bars for good.
In 2018, Harvey became the center of a series of sexual assaults in Richmond. On March 28, 2018, Richmond Police responded to a sex offense where the victim reported that a man shoved her to the ground, reached up her dress, and tried to pull her underwear off.
On September 24, 2018, VCU Police received a report from a woman who says she was walking on Brunswick Street when a man lifted up her dress, put his phone under her “buttocks area”, and she observed a flash from the phone.
VCU Police and RPD worked together on these cases and shortly after the September ‘upskirting’ incident; authorities released surveillance video to the public inquiring who the man in the video was following behind a victim. After receiving tips from the public, authorities identified the suspect as Justin Harvey of Colonial Heights.
Harvey was arrested for ‘upskirting’ incidents admitting to detectives that he committed the sexual battery crimes. During an interview with detectives, Harvey stated “he had a problem,” “he doesn’t want to do the things he does, but blacks out and they just happen,” and said he was “sorry.”
Harvey’s phone was seized and DNA was taken. The evidence linked Harvey to a string of sex crimes in the Fan. Police discovered hundreds of videos and images of different women.
According to court records between 2015 and 2018 Harvey assaulted at least nine women. Harvey broke into the victim’s homes and cut some of their clothing with scissors. Some of the women were raped, some fondled, and at least two were physically beaten.
Court documents state Harvey recorded a lot of the assaults and incidents on his cell phone, including the attack where a victim was taken to St.Mary’s after being repeatedly struck in the face.
8News spoke to a woman in 2019 who came forward about her encounter with Harvey. She says it was “minor” compared to the Fan assaults. The woman says Harvey recorded her in a Kohl’s dressing room in Chesterfield. Harvey was charged in the case and served a six-month sentence.
“I’m sorry that I couldn’t do anything for you,” the woman cried. “I couldn’t protect them and I just don’t feel like the justice system does enough and they put them right back out on the street.”
In 2012, Harvey was arrested in a sexual battery incident in Colonial Heights, in 2013 he was charged with indecent exposure on VCU’s campus, in 2014 charged for unlawful filming at Kohls and then the assaults began in the Fan in 2015.
Harvey told detectives he was molested by his stepfather as a child and said “I don’t have a choice, but to be like this.” He also said he has “urges” and the “lack of permission excites him.”
He was convicted for rape, statutory burglary, and sexual battery among other charges.