Loudoun County Sheriff Donald L. Lacy, under investigation by Virginia officials for alleged misappropriation of funds and sexual misconduct, has been charged with assaulting a woman during a New Year's Eve party at a Leesburg Holiday Inn.
Lacy is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 11 in General District Court on misdemeanor charges of abusive language and simple assault arising from a dispute with two women over whether he would be photographed.
Lacy could not be reached for comment yesterday. One of the women, Betty DuCharme, 20, said she was celebrating New Year's Eve with a friend, 18-year-old Laurie Hollman, who took a picture of Lacy seated at a nearby table. When a hostess, at Lacy's request, asked the women to stop photographing him, DuCharme said they complied.
Later that evening, DuCharme said, Hollman took a picture of her. "The sheriff came up to me walking real fast and screaming and shaking his finger in my face. He said he was tired of people invading his and his wife's privacy," DuCharme said. She said Lacy took her by the left arm and led her into the hotel lobby where two uniformed sheriff's deputies were waiting. "He told them he wanted 'those teen-age sluts arrested and locked up tonight.' It was really humiliating."
No arrests were made as a result of the incident, which allegedly occurred shortly after 1:30 a.m. New Year's Day. If convicted of assault, Lacy could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Loudoun prosecutor Thomas D. Horne said yesterday that the case will be tried by special prosecutor Aubrey Davis, Richmond commonwealth's attorney. Davis was appointed by the Loudoun Circuit Court last October to oversee an investigation by the Virginia State Police and a special grand jury into misconduct allegations leveled against Lacy, 34, the first Republican sheriff in Loudoun's history. That probe is expected to be completed this month.