Former Fox News and Roanoke Reporter Reporter Orlando Salinas was denied bond as prosecutors accused him of raping a 64-year-old woman suffering from health issues.
The woman used a walker to get around, Montgomery County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Nicole Terry said in summarizing her evidence during a Monday hearing. Salinas, 55, had been communicating with the woman via text messages for months, Terry said.
The Roanoke Times reports that the woman told police Salinas contacted her on Jan. 11 to ask if she was alone and if they could meet at her home, the prosecutor said. They spoke for a short time, and then Salinas got up to leave. As they walked toward the door, Salinas began groping the woman, the prosecutor said.
Salinas pulled the woman into a bedroom and forced her to have sex with him, according to Terry.
The woman later went to a doctor, who recommended she call the police.
When interviewed by investigators, Salinas confirmed parts of the story, but said there had been no vaginal penetration, according to the prosecutor. He also said oral sex was consensual.
Salinas’ lawyer Tyson Daniel said his client “vigorously disputes” the allegations.
Salinas testified Monday that he had grown up in the area, but spent the early part of his professional career moving across the country for work.
He joined WDBJ in 2012, leaving a correspondence job with Fox News.
In 2015, Salinas was released from the station “due to insubordination,” WDBJ reported after his arrest. He then began selling homes for ReMax.
Daniel argued Monday for Salinas to be granted bond, pointing to his deep ties to the community and noting that Salinas knew he was under investigation when police executed a search warrant on his home in February. Salinas testified Monday that he had made no attempts to flee and does not have an active passport.
But Judge Marcus Long said the key difference between then and now is that Salinas has since been indicted on rape and forcible sodomy charges.
The judge denied bond, saying Salinas could pose a threat to the community because of the severity of the accusations he faces.
Salinas’ trial is scheduled for October.