Walter Hanley

Walter Lee Hanley

A Wytheville man who’s served time for robbery and unlawful wounding has now been charged with sexually assaulting a woman with garden shears.

Walter Lee Hanley, 44, was arrested on June 20 and charged with object sexual penetration, strangulation, and assault and battery of a family or household member.

According to court records, he’s accused of attacking a 35-year-old woman inside a North 11th Street residence on June 19.

In a search warrant application for the residence, Virginia State Police Trooper G.A. Purvis wrote that officers were dispatched to North 11th Street after getting a report about a naked female lying near the intersection of East North Street.

The woman told police that she had been raped, strangled and assaulted, according to the search warrant.

“(The woman) alleged that Walter Hanley had penetrated her vagina with the handle of hedge shears after a physical altercation,” Purvis wrote. “(The woman) advised that Hanley used a knife during the assault where he held her against her will by force.”

Purvis said the woman had injuries consistent with her report “including bleeding from her vagina, as well as swelling and abrasions on her neck.”

Officers collected garden shears, a kitchen knife, clothing and underwear during their search. They also took DNA from Hanley.

Arraigned on June 21, Hanley was given a court-appointed attorney to represent him on the new charges and is being held without bond in the New River Valley Regional Jail.

Released from incarceration last March, Hanley is on probation for a 2014 unlawful wounding conviction involving Jacob Scott Hoback.

In March of this year, Hanley was convicted of assaulting the same woman involved in the latest allegations. The woman was also convicted of assaulting him, according to court records.

Both of them were given suspended jail sentences on the misdemeanors and placed on probation.

Hanley’s other criminal history includes charges of assault, petty larceny, grand larceny, trespassing, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, violating his probation and robbery, according to court records.

In 1995, Hanley pleaded guilty to using a handgun to rob a night clerk at the Wytheville Days Inn.

He was sent to prison for more than seven years.

His preliminary hearing on the new charges is set for Aug. 13 in Wythe County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

“Very cooperative w/LEO (law enforcement),” a magistrate wrote during Hanley’s bond hearing.

Jeffrey Simmons can be reached at 228-6611, extension 19, or

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