A Reston basketball coach accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl has once again been denied bond after an Oct. 8 bond appeal hearing.
After a one-hour hearing, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Horne denied bond for Marlow Mikassas Afshartous, 39, amid tears from his contingent of supporters in the courtroom.
Afshartous, who also goes by the name Marlow Talley, was arrested Aug. 3 and charged with sexual assault and solicitation of child pornography after allegedly abusing a 12-year-old girl he coached and trained in basketball and requesting her to take a photograph of herself topless with his cellphone.
A basketball coach in the Northern Virginia area, Afshartous coached an AAU team and trained players around the area, including at Claude Moore Recreation Center in Sterling, the now-defunct Hoop Magic in Chantilly and Georgetown Day School in Washington D.C. He played collegiate basketball at Virginia Commonwealth University and had a brief professional basketball stint in Finland. Married with two daughters, he now lives in Reston.
Keva McDonald, defense attorney for Afshartous, called three witnesses to testify on his behalf. All three had daughters that were coached by Afshartous prior to his arrest.
“My daughter has never had any concern whatsoever with Marlow,” testified Kevin Butler, whose 16-year-old daughter has been coached by Afshartous for six years.
Butler and the other two witnesses all stated that they have no concerns about Afshartous being in the community and supported his release.
Senior Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Gigi Lawless called just one witness, Det. Jeffrey Cichocki, who investigated the case.
Cichocki gave sordid details of the now 13-year-old victim's allegations.
According to Cichocki, the abuse took place from April to November 2012 at three separate locations: Claude Moore Recreation Center, a church off Evergreen Mills Road and at an outdoor court on Braddock Road, west of Gum Spring Road. The victim stated that on multiple occasions, Afshartous would kiss her, and in other instances digitally penetrated her and once forced her to perform oral sex on him. The abuse occurred in the equipment room and also in Afshartous's SUV. In addition, investigators retrieved approximately 7,000 text messages on the victim's phone between her and Afshartous.
Cichocki interviewed Afshartous at the Eastern Loudoun Station prior to his arrest. Afshartous initially said he did not recall the incidents and later denied them happening. Cichocki also testified that Afshartous's phone's memory was wiped clean prior to the interview.
“He was a coach and he violated that trust in the most horrific and vile way,” Lawless closed.
McDonald argued that no new victims have come forward and that many people have come to her client's defense.
Horne's denial of the bond appeal means Afshartous will likely remain incarcerated until his trial, which is tentatively scheduled for March.