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Commonwealth's Attorney News Releases

Posted on: November 18, 2022

Commonwealth v. Linwood Scott Jr. Sentencing

NORFOLK, Va. – Nearly 30 years ago, Linwood Scott Jr. burglarized a sleeping woman’s home and raped her, but DNA evidence at the time could not assist Norfolk Police in finding a suspect. After watching a television special about retesting rape kits, the woman asked Norfolk Police to try again. Today, a now 70-year-old Mr. Scott was finally held accountable and sentenced in Norfolk Circuit Court to serve 30 years in prison for his crimes.

In the early morning hours of March 18, 1994, a 19-year-old Norfolk woman was asleep in her home on Stockton Road when she was awakened by Mr. Scott standing over her with a knife to her throat. Mr. Scott and the woman were not acquainted and, at the time, her husband was away working overnight. Mr. Scott took her from her bedroom down the hall to the bedroom of her then-2-year-old daughter, who was sleeping. There, Mr. Scott pointed out a broken window, told the woman that was how he was able to enter her home and, tauntingly, advised she get the window fixed before someone could hurt her and her family.

Mr. Scott continued toying with the woman, forcing her into her kitchen where he showed off her phone lines that he had already cut. Mr. Scott then told the woman to get down on the living room floor and checked to see if anyone was outside. He then proceeded to rape the woman twice. After, Mr. Scott forced her back into her room and into her bed. He pulled the covers up over her head, instructed her to count to 100 and to not get up until she finished counting. Mr. Scott also threatened to kill her if he later saw police in front of her house.

When the woman heard Mr. Scott leave, she got up, retrieved her daughter, and fled to a trusted neighbor’s residence for help. After police responded, the woman was transported to Sentara Leigh Hospital, where she completed a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) — commonly referred to as a rape kit — to be submitted for DNA testing.

The woman was unable to identify Mr. Scott at the time but was able to provide a general description of a Black male who was taller and of a darker complexion than her. Sperm was identified in the PERK, but there was no suspect to compare it to at that time. After police continued the investigation into 1995, the case was placed in inactive status and effectively went cold.

In June 2019, the woman reached back out to Norfolk Police for a follow-up after seeing a television special about old rape kits being retested. A detective from the Cold Case Unit pulled her case file and the evidence and, upon retesting, the PERK returned Mr. Scott as an investigative lead.

Detectives interviewed Mr. Scott and, after bringing up the 1994 rape, Mr. Scott began to cry and slump over in shame. He then told detective, “Y’all do what you got to do.” Mr. Scott’s DNA was obtained via search warrant and submitted for comparison. A forensic specialist determined that out of two DNA profiles found in the PERK — one matching Mr. Scott’s DNA and one matching the survivor’s — Mr. Scott’s made up the majority of the sample.

On June 9, 2022, a jury of his peers found Mr. Scott guilty of burglary, rape, and abduction with the intent to defile. On Friday, Judge Michelle J. Atkins sentenced Mr. Scott to serve 30 active years in prison. The details of Mr. Scott’s sentence include 10 years with five years suspended for burglary; 40 years with 20 suspended for rape; and 10 years with five suspended for abduction. Mr. Scott’s suspended sentences are conditioned upon 10 years of indeterminate supervised probation upon his release from prison and no contact with the survivor.

“The wheels of justice sometimes move slowly, but they never stop, and today we have secured justice for the victim of this terrible crime,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “Our heart goes out to the victim in this case, who had to wait so many years for a break in the case. Once the case broke, we were here for her, and we cheer for her as she continues her journey.”

Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michelle L. Newkirk led the prosecution of Mr. Scott’s case on behalf of the Commonwealth.

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