Man sentenced to 11 years in prison for attempted sexual assault

Leonard Gainer III (Photo: Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office)
Leonard Gainer III (Photo: Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A man was sentenced to 11 years in prison Wednesday for an attempted sexual assault.

Prosecutors say 34-year-old Leonard Gainer III, a convicted felon, pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempted forcible sodomy, assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, forgery of a public record, using identification documents or information to avoid arrest, resisting lawful arrest, and a violation of probation. He was sentenced to 25 years and 24 months behind bars, with 14 years and 24 months suspended.

According to prosecutors, at about 1:00 a.m. on May 5, 2014, a 22-year-old woman was walking to her apartment in the Runaway Bay apartment complex when an unknown man grabbed her from behind.  The man, later identified as Gainer, knocked the woman to the ground and tried to sexually assault her, prosecutors say. Ultimately, the woman managed to fight Gainer off and he fled from the scene. The victim ran to her apartment and called 911 right away.

Police searched the area after the victim provided a suspect description, but to no avail. The forensics unit collected the victim’s clothing and took evidence from her to try to preserve any possible DNA left behind by the suspect.

On May 29, 2014, a man who fit the attempted sexual assault suspect description was found pulling on car door handles in the same apartment complex. Police tried to make contact with the man, who was later identified as Gainer, but he assaulted an officer and tried to run away. He was then charged with assault and battery of a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

After further investigation, Gainer’s DNA was matched with the attacker from the Runaway Bay attempted sexual assault. While he was in jail awaiting trial for the assault on a law enforcement officer charge, Gainer was charged with attempted forcible sodomy.

Investigators determined that he had provided his cousin’s name instead of his own. He was in jail under the false name. Gainer was then charged with forgery of a public record and using identification documents or information to avoid arrest.

Gainer had been on probation for robbery, so the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office charged him with probation violation as well. He also has prior convictions for burglary, abduction, conspiracy, use of a firearm, and assault and battery.