Judge to stay on in Orlando Salinas rape case, despite family ties

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CHRISTIANSBURG (WSLS 10) - A judge refused to remove himself from a Montgomery County rape case, even though the defense claims he cannot be impartial.

Deborah Caldwell-Bono, the attorney for former WDBJ7 reporter Orlando Salinas, said Judge Marcus Long's mother was close friends with Salinas' mother.

Salinas is charged with rape and forcible sodomy, stemming from an incident in January.

During a hearing this week, Caldwell-Bono brought in pictures, letters and wedding invitations to demonstrate the two women's friendship. She claimed Long could be tempted to rule against Salinas to avoid appearing biased toward his mother, and should recuse himself from the case.

Long denied the motion.

Salinas' trial is set for December.