Virginia man sentenced to 18 years in sexual assault case after three previous mistrials

Vest has been a registered sex offender since July 24, 2020

Oscar James Vest (Virginia State Police)

LOVINGSTON, Va. – A Virginia man convicted of breaking into a woman’s home and sexually assaulting her has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

A Nelson County Circuit Court jury in February found Oscar James Vest, 66, of Covesville, guilty of aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration and breaking and entering for the attack at a Lovingston apartment complex three years ago.

The Nelson County Times reports that Judge Frederick Watson upheld the jury’s recommended 18-year sentence earlier this month.

Vest’s sentencing came after three previous mistrials - one resulting from a deadlocked jury and two resulting from juries not being able to be seated.

As part of his sentence, Vest is required to undergo sex offender treatment and must register as a sex offender.

During the February trial, the prosecution said Vest knocked on the victim’s door, forced his way into her apartment and sexually assaulted her. Afterward, prosecutors said Vest demanded the victim make him lunch.

The victim testified she had never met Vest and that he slapped her during the attack. Vest testified he was visiting family at the apartment complex when the victim invited him into her home and initiated sexual contact.