A decorated Navy combat pilot was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $1,000 in Alexandria Circuit Court yesterday for allegedly abducting a 27-year-old divorcee during a July 8 sexual encounter.
Lt. Cmdr. Christopher W. Gilluly, 32, the breast of his uniform covered with decorations, hung his head while a score of his friends looked on as Judge Wiley R. Wright Jr. imposed the sentence. Wright suspended another six-month sentence and $1,000 fine on a related charge of assault and battery.
Wright imposed the sentence despite Gilluly's own plea for forgiveness and the assertion of his lawyer, Stephen A. Armstrong, that the victim had consented to the acts following a date with the Navy pilot.
"She was not an 18-year-old child who didn't know what she was doing," Armstrong told the judge. "She was a 27-year-old divorcee on birth control pills who admitted to liaisons with several men and went to a bachelor's ment at 3 o'clock in the morning."
Wright, meanwhile, freed Gilluly on $2,500 bond pending appeal. Armstrong is expected to challenge the jury's verdict charging that the victim's sobbing in the courtroom during final arguments influenced the verdict.
Gilluly, a Phd. candidate who works at the Navy Annex near the Pentagon, was convicted Dec. 22 of the charges but was found innocent of rape and two counts of sodomy. During the trial, he admitted taking the woman to his Alexandria apartment, tying her to a bed and spanking and beating her.
Gilluly testified that he thought the woman had consented to the acts. Armstrong said yesterday that Gilluly had passed two polygraph tests supporting his testimony.
After the sentencing, Gilluly's Navy colleagues and friends, 13 of whom appeared as character witnesses, gathered around him as he thanked them in a soft, steady voice.
"You're talking about a guy who had a chance to be an admiral," said Lt. Cmdr. Lee Mairs. "In my opinion there's no way he can recover from it in his Navy career."
Acting Commonwealth's Attorney John E. Kloch had asked the judge to uphold the full sentence imposed by the jury of six months and a $1.000 fine on each charge. Kloch said afterward that he was satisfied despite the suspended portion.