THE CIRCUIT COURT OF LOUDOUN COUNTY J. Howe Brown, Jr., Judge
Alexander Maxwell Ace for appellant.
I. Jones, IV, Assistant Attorney General (Mark R. Herring,
Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.
Present: Judges Beales, Chafin and O'Brien Argued at
M. CHAFIN JUDGE
a jury trial, the Circuit Court of Loudoun County convicted
Grace Nadine McGuire of giving a false report to a law
enforcement official in violation of Code § 18.2-461. On
appeal, McGuire contends the circuit court erred by
determining venue was appropriate in Loudoun County. For the
reasons that follow, we affirm the circuit court's
accordance with established principles of appellate review,
we state the facts in the light most favorable to the
Commonwealth, the prevailing party in the trial court[, and]
accord the Commonwealth the benefit of all inferences fairly
deducible from the evidence." Riner v.
Commonwealth, 268 Va. 296, 303, 601 S.E.2d 555, 558
(2004). So viewed, the evidence is as follows.
March 21, 2014, McGuire sent an email to the Loudoun County
Sheriff's Department alleging a child was being sexually
abused in Loudoun County. Deputy Joshua Brumbaugh called
McGuire the next day in response to her email. McGuire told
Brumbaugh that H.H.,  a fifty-year-old man, was having an
inappropriate sexual relationship with a fifteen-year-old
girl at his Loudoun County residence. She then gave Brumbaugh
an address where she believed H.H. lived, and demanded
Brumbaugh to perform a "welfare check" at the
became "combative" when Brumbaugh asked for more
information about the sexual abuse. She told Brumbaugh she
based her report on "intuition" and previous
conversations with the victim. McGuire refused to give
Brumbaugh the name of the alleged victim or any additional
details regarding the sexual abuse. Eventually, McGuire told
Brumbaugh she had an appointment and abruptly ended the
conversation. Brumbaugh concluded the information provided by
McGuire failed to justify a welfare check, and he did not
investigate H.H. any further.
March 24, 2014, McGuire called the Loudoun County
Sheriff's Department and reported H.H. was holding a
fifteen-year-old girl at his home against her will and
possibly sexually abusing her. As a result of this call,
Deputy Sarah Purcell was dispatched to perform a welfare
check at H.H.'s residence. Purcell called McGuire on her
way to H.H.'s home. McGuire told Purcell that she used to
babysit the girl at issue and that H.H. was an "old
friend." McGuire then explained she "sensed"
the girl was at H.H.'s home, and she was "absolutely
positive" the girl was being sexually abused there.
Nonetheless, McGuire admitted she had never seen the girl at
Purcell arrived at H.H.'s home, he allowed her to search
his residence for the girl at issue. Purcell did not find any
children in the house. H.H. told Purcell that McGuire was a
former colleague who previously filed lawsuits against him
and his employer. He later clarified he had never met the
alleged victim of the sexual abuse. After the search, Purcell
called McGuire to inform her the girl was not at H.H.'s
home. McGuire asked Purcell to contact the girl's family,
and explained she could not contact them directly due to a
on the statements she made to Purcell on March 24, 2014,
McGuire was charged with giving a false report to a law
enforcement official in violation of Code § 18.2-461. At
her trial, McGuire claimed she reported the sexual abuse to
the police due to an "overwhelming sensation" or
"psychic impression." McGuire admitted, however,
that she had never seen H.H. with the alleged victim of the
sexual abuse or been told H.H. was abusing the girl.
evidence presented by the Commonwealth at McGuire's trial
failed to establish the location where she placed the calls
reporting the alleged sexual abuse to the police. While
Purcell believed McGuire lived in Fairfax County, the
Commonwealth did not introduce any evidence establishing she
called the police from her home. Purcell testified she called
McGuire while she was on patrol in ...