Former Contract Employee of Radford Army Ammunition Plant Pleads Guilty to Sexual Assault
ROANOKE, VA—A former contract employee at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, who was indicted in March 2015 on charges of sexually assaulting fellow employees at the plant, pled guilty today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke to three charges related to those assaults.
Joshua Linkous, 39, of Dublin, Virginia, pled guilty today to one count of aggravated sexual abuse by force against Victim 1, one count of abusive sexual contact of Victim 2, and one count of abusive sexual contact of Victim 3.
“Today, the justice system compelled Mr. Linkous to take the first step to being held accountable for actions that can only be described as deplorable,” Acting United States Attorney Anthony P. Giorno said today. “He used his position and power to force the victims to submit to unwanted sexual contact and made them feel they were powerless to stop him. The courage of the victims in coming forth and being willing to testify against him, combined with the tenacious efforts of the investigators and prosecutors have put a stop to those abuses, and Mr. Linkous will have to serve at least 10 years behind bars for his acts.”
“Mr. Linkous exploited his position and took advantage of victims who were vulnerable,” Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Lee, Federal Bureau of Investigation, stated. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation sincerely appreciates the efforts and cooperation of our law enforcement partners, particularly the United States Army’s Criminal Investigative Division, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the United States Attorney’s Office, in investigating and prosecuting this case and getting justice for the victims. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure this type of criminal conduct does not go unpunished.”
In a written statement of facts signed by Linkous and filed with the court during today’s guilty plea hearing, Linkous admitted to working at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (“Arsenal”) from approximately January 2001 until August 2014. The Radford Army Ammunition Plant is a government-owned facility that is operated by defense contractor BAE Systems and manufactures, among other things, propellant for the country’s military ammunitions. While employed at the Arsenal, Linkous, and the victims in this case, worked in or near an area of the Arsenal known as the Tub House, which is part of the manufacturing process.
Linkous admitted that on July 27, 2014, he coaxed Victim 1 into the Tub House, where no one else was working at the time. With Victim 1 standing near the lockers, Linkous admitted to grabbing her and pushing into a small, secluded break room area. The lights were off and he closed the door, pushed Victim 1 against a kitchen counter, pinning her there. Linkous then forcibly unbuttoned Victim 1’s coveralls, while she was attempting to prevent him from doing so. The defendant admitted that Victim 1 was crying and trying to make him stop. Linkous then forcibly turned Victim 1 around and pinned her stomach against the counter with his body behind her, he got his hands inside of her clothing, touched her bare breasts and penetrated her labia with his finger, over her objection and against her will.
In a second incident, Linkous admitted that, in June 2014, he saw Victim 2 at her locker near the break room in the Tub House. When Victim 2 began to exit the Tub House, Linkous grabbed her by the upper arm and dragged her into a circuit breaker room in the Tub House. Linkous closed the door and shut the lights off, pushed her against a control panel and pinned her down with his body. He then forcibly kissed her, unbuttoned her coveralls and kissed her breasts against her will. Linkous put his hands inside her coveralls and touched her vaginal area over her underwear with his hand, against her will.
Linkous also admitted that, sometime between August 2010 and December 2011, he approached Victim 3, who worked in a building near the Tub House. He admitted to putting his hand inside her coveralls near her vaginal area and asked her to go to the break room. Victim 3 said no and removed Linkous’ hand from her coveralls. Linkous then followed Victim 3 as she tried to walk away and forcibly put his hands inside her coveralls and under her underwear, against her will. Linkous removed his hand only when a co-worker approached.
As part of the plea agreement, Linkous will be sentenced to between 10-15 years in federal prison, followed by at least 15 years of supervised release thereafter. He will also be required to register as a lifetime sex offender.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Erin Kulpa and Laura Rottenborn are prosecuting the case for the United States.