Commonwealth v. Lawrence Anthony Norfleet; Jury Recommends 3 Life Terms plus 26 Years for Brutal Rape, Attack, Strangulation of Exchange Student

Friday, November 22, 2013

Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Lawrence Anthony Norfleet, 59 years old, of the 8100 block Grand Bay Drive in Virginia Beach, was found guilty by a jury of Rape (2 counts), Forcible Sodomy, Object Sexual Penetration, Strangulation, Abduction, and False ID to Police. The jury recommended a sentence of 3 Life Terms plus 26 years in prison.  Circuit Court Judge Edward W. Hanson Jr., who presided over the four-day trial, will formally sentence Norfleet after a pre-sentence report has been completed.


The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that in July 2012, Lawrence Anthony Norfleet attempted to befriend a Taiwanese young woman who was visiting Virginia Beach as part of a work-study program.  Norfleet interacted with the woman at least three times in July 2012 while she was bicycling to and from work.  He followed her to work on July 20, 2012, and she stopped at a CVS pharmacy on the way. Norfleet offered to watch her bike while she went inside.  Norfleet was waiting for the woman when she got off work that evening. It was raining and he told her to go down a side street behind a vacant building as a “short cut.”  There, he repeatedly sexually assaulted her, beat her, and strangled her.  At one point it appeared that he would let her go, but he then dragged her further off the roadway. He then wiped off her bike and glasses and told her that if she reported the attack, no one would believe her because of her nationality.


Police began looking for Norfleet based on the victim’s description of Norfleet and his bike.  On July 23, 2012, an officer encountered a man matching the description.  Norfleet gave him a false name and date of birth before going on his way. Approximately an hour later, another officer again encountered a man matching the description. When he attempted to stop Norfleet, Norfleet fled, cutting through parking lots, abandoning his bike, and jumping a fence.  When he was caught in the woods, Norfleet refused to identify himself. 


The victim identified Norfleet in a photo lineup.  Further, video from CVS Pharmacy shows Norfleet and his bike outside the store on the morning of the attack.


Norfleet has prior convictions for Sexual Battery (3 counts), Assault and Battery of a Child under 14, Robbery, Burglary, Stalking, and Assault and Battery (2 counts).


The case was prosecuted by Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey L. Bryant and Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney M. Janeice Robinson.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.