LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A 38-year-old man was found guilty in Louisa County Circuit Court for raping a woman at a campground in 2018, Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty E. McGuire announced on Thursday.
Jason Karsten was convicted of raping a woman he was introduced to by his sister on June 30, 2018. According to the evidence presented at the trial, the victim, a 38-year-old woman, traveled to the campground with a male friend and three children, according to a release from Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Wood.
Karsten’s sister knew the victim’s friend and introduced him to her. The victim socialized with Karsten and others at the campground during the day and into the evening.
Evidence from the trial revealed that the victim and Karsten walked to a lake and began to swim. The victim told the court that she asked Karsten to stay away from her in the water, but he refused. She testified that Karsten grabbed her, pushed her down onto the lakebed and raped her.
The victim said she tried to escape Karsten’s grasp and that she immediately told her friend and child about what took place.
Karsten denied having any sexual contact with the victim in an interview at the scene with a Louisa County Sheriff’s deputy. In a second, thorough interview with the Sheriff’s Office, Karsten changed his original story and informed authorities that he had consensual intercourse with the victim.
While the victim could not remember certain details about the night of June 30, 2018, the court ruled that the victim, “was clear and unequivocal in what had transpired and that her testimony was corroborated by other evidence presented by the Commonwealth at trial.”
“The Court today sent a strong message that Louisa County will not tolerate sexual assault. The victim showed a tremendous amount of strength and determination by taking the witness stand and recounting the terrifying events of June 30, 2018,” Wood said after the verdict.
Karsten will be sentenced on Aug. 12.