Former Contract Employee of Radford Army Ammunition Plant Sentenced
ROANOKE, VA—A former contract employee at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, who pled guilty earlier this year to charges of sexually assaulting fellow employees at the plant, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke.
Joshua Linkous, 39, of Dublin, Va., previously pled guilty 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 in District Court, Linkous was sentenced to 168 months of federal incarceration and 15 years of supervised release thereafter. Linkous will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
In a written statement of facts signed by Linkous and filed with the court during a previous 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 and pushing her 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.
In determining the defendant’s sentence, the court also considered actions Linkous allegedly took against a fourth victim. In a statement submitted to the court during today’s sentencing hearing, without objection from the defendant, Victim 4, who also worked in the Tub House, claimed that Linkous held her against her will in the break room, forced his hands inside her coveralls and underwear and touched her vagina without her consent.
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 prosecuted the case for the United States.