Cataldo pleads guilty to four misdemeanors

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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Giosafat Cataldo, of Franklin, pled guilty in Southampton County Juvenile and Domestic Relations (J&DR) Court on Aug. 4 to four misdemeanors, including three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to his attorney, Jack T. Randall.

A Feb. 12 Southampton County Sheriff’s Office press release stated that in January, a juvenile female reported some alleged criminal activity to the sheriff’s office that had occurred between October 2021 and January 2022.

The release noted that after detectives investigated the report further, warrants were obtained for multiple charges. Cataldo, 51, was arrested on a charge of forcible sodomy, three charges of sexual battery and five charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor involving sexual acts.

Randall stated in a Tuesday, Aug. 9, interview that the commonwealth nolle prossed — made formal notice of abandonment of — five charges against Cataldo, including three felonies and two misdemeanors. These abandoned charges included forcible sodomy, which is a felony, and multiple complaints of sexual battery.

“Then he pled to four misdemeanors, and that carries a max of 12 months, and that will be set on (Sept. 19),” Randall said, referring to the term date in Southampton Circuit Court. “Probably will be in December/January when we have the sentencing, but his plan is to plead guilty to those four misdemeanors.”

The four pleas that Randall said Cataldo has already made came during his Aug. 4 J&DR court appearance. Cataldo will also plead guilty to the same four misdemeanors in circuit court Sept. 19.

Randall confirmed that the four misdemeanors Cataldo is pleading guilty to include one count of sexual battery and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The Virginia Judiciary’s Online Case Information System 2.0 lists the three counts of contributing to delinquency as “consensual sex w/ child 15y+.”

“That’s the way it’s listed; (but) if you read the code section, it’s basically contributing to the delinquency of a minor — (Section) 18.2-371,” Randall said. “It’s known as the Contributing to Delinquency Statute.”

Randall confirmed Monday, Aug. 15, that he and the commonwealth had picked a date for Cataldo’s sentencing hearing in circuit court, but the date had not yet been ratified by the court. The date is Jan. 5 at 9:30 a.m., with three hours reserved.

As Cataldo’s Aug. 4 J&DR court appearance concluded, someone in the courtroom fell out, prompting calls for the rescue squad.

“The person that fell out was (Cataldo’s) mother-in-law,” Randall said, later noting that she was sitting down and “she just fell over.”

“She was OK,” he said. “I guess she just kind of got overexcited.”

He said there was no commotion in the courtroom, but a couple people raised their voices to say, “Call rescue.”

“It was concern for her,” he said. “They were trying to make sure she was breathing, which she was.”

Randall said he recalled this taking place right when Cataldo’s court appearance concluded, and he said his understanding was that the woman is now in good, stable condition.