Prince William County police charged a 34-year-old man with rape yesterday after determining that his DNA matched that of a baby born to a 12-year-old Dumfries girl this year. Police said they tested several possible fathers for a match to the infant, left in a garbage can by her young mother in February.
Gregory Dion Wilkins, of Mainsail Court in Triangle, was arrested after a DNA analysis was completed. It had been delayed for several months because of a backlog in cases at the state's crime lab. Police tested Wilkins and a number of other men whom the girl listed as possible fathers of the baby after the man they first arrested in the case did not turn up a positive DNA match, police spokeswoman Kim Chinn said.
The girl's father said in an interview yesterday that Wilkins was a "very close friend of the family" who often spent time in their home. He said he was shocked to learn that Wilkins has been accused of sexual involvement with his daughter.
He said that he was relieved to hear that police had arrested a suspect but that "with something like this happening, it's never really a relief, especially with your kid being that young."
The Washington Post generally does not identify alleged victims of sex crimes.
The girl, now 13, allegedly wrapped the newborn in a plastic bag and dumped her in the family's garbage can on the evening of Feb. 15, after she concealed her pregnancy from her family and friends. The baby was discovered four hours later by a startled neighbor who kicked over the trash can when he thought a cat was trapped inside.
Prince William Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert said Wilkins is being charged with rape because of the girl's age. "There is no indication of any force or intimidation," Ebert said.
Ebert said he does not plan to press charges against the girl or her parents in connection with leaving the baby in the trash or her sexual conduct. The baby, now 5 months old, remains in the custody of the county's Department of Social Services, but the girl and her family have visited the baby, the girl's father said.
"She's doing great," he said of the baby. "Hopefully, she'll come home to us soon."
The teenage girl and her sister used to baby-sit for Wilkins's young children, the girl's father said. Wilkins and his wife were family friends for several years, the father said.
Wilkins lives in a town house with his wife and children in the Point of Dumfries community just east of Route 1. The girl's family moved from Dumfries to Dale City shortly after her baby was born.
Court records indicate that Wilkins has no prior sex crime charges in Prince William County. Wilkins is scheduled to appear in court at the end of August on charges of assault and battery of a police officer and impeding an arrest for a struggle he had with two police officers who were summoned to his Triangle home on a domestic dispute call in June, authorities say.
Chinn said Wilkins turned himself in to authorities after an arrest warrant was issued yesterday morning. He was being held at the county jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. If convicted, Wilkins could be sentenced to life in prison.