Tustin convicted of sexual assault

by Kim Robins - Posted on Nov 20, 2013 - 01:19 PM

A former Gloucester Point resident faces a maximum four life terms plus 20 years in prison in connection with the brutal sexual assault of a woman in May. James Kenneth Tustin, 23, pleaded guilty to charges of rape, sodomy, breaking and entering, robbery and sexual object penetration in Gloucester Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Gloucester Commonwealth’s Attorney Holly Smith said the victim was a post-doctoral student who was temporarily in the county to collaborate on a research project. She had returned to her studio apartment on Bellehaven Drive in Gloucester on May 19 after spending time with her husband at their home several states away.

Upon returning, the victim noticed several slats were missing from the blinds in the window adjacent to her bed. Smith said just after midnight on May 20, Tustin, wearing boots, a ski cap, hooded sweatshirt, gloves and a bandanna over his face, broke into the victim’s apartment through the back door.

Smith said the victim jumped out of bed and tried to run out of the front door before Tustin punched her several times in the face, slammed her up against a wall and choked her. He demanded money and the victim gave him $50 and offered him credit cards to not hurt her. Smith then described the sexual assaults that followed.

Smith said the physical and sexual assaults occurred over about an hour and throughout Tustin made racial comments to the victim and stated he had wanted an Asian girl for a long time. When it ended, Smith said Tustin pushed the victim into the shower, turned it on and ordered her not to call the police before leaving. The victim fled to a neighbor’s house to report the attack.