Connect with us


Defense motions filed in Biggs Drive massage parlor case



Mayor Hollis Tharpe speaks with constituent following March 25 council meeting, three weeks prior to his indictment and five weeks prior to his resignation as mayor. Royal Examiner File Photo/Roger Bianchini

On Friday, May 17, just two days after her arrest the attorney for a woman facing multiple charges related to an alleged prostitution operation being run out of a massage parlor at 312 Biggs Drive in Front Royal has filed Discovery Motions on his client’s behalf. Cynthia Atkinson Bailey attorney David Downes also questioned whether dates referenced in the complaint against his client might indicate a one-year statute of limitations on at least some charges may have expired.

Later on Friday Downes issued a press release in which he called his client’s prosecution “retaliatory” and “selective” due to her assertion to authorities that she would plead her Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate if asked to testify regarding clients, one in particular (see related story).

Bailey, 55, was arrested by Front Royal Police along with three other people on May 15, and charged with maintaining a “bawdy (defined as gross, indecent or overly graphic) place”, receiving money from earnings of prostitution, prostitution, and cruelty to children. According to the felony warrant the latter charge involved the presence of a juvenile in the residence who “answered phone calls, arranged appointments and walked clients to the rooms.”

Also arrested on similar or related charges were Brandy Nicole Atkinson, Jesse Thomas Atkinson and Joshua Allan Stamper. According to Bailey attorney Downes, Brandy and Jesse Atkinson are his client’s daughter and son and Stamper is her son-in-law. The referenced juvenile may be a grandchild.

Courtesy Photos FRPD/Regional Jail System

According to an FRPD press release issued on May 16, coincidentally Cynthia Bailey’s 55th birthday, the arrests were the result of an ongoing investigation that began in late January of 2018.
It appears that investigation also resulted in the charge of solicitation of prostitution against former Front Royal Mayor Hollis Tharpe. Tharpe’s April 15, 2019 Grand Jury indictment, perhaps ironically signed by Tharpe’s old political adversary Matthew Tederick as grand jury foreman, references a May 31, 2018 incident in which Tharpe allegedly offered “money or its equivalent to another for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts … and thereafter did a substantial act in furtherance thereof against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth …”

Bailey was initially arrested one week after the referenced Tharpe massage parlor incident, on June 7, 2018 on a charge of prostitution. That charge was dropped by the commonwealth on October 2, 2018.

Tharpe has identified Biggs Drive to this reporter as the location of the massage parlor involved in the charge against him. While maintaining his innocence, Tharpe initially placed himself on administrative leave the day the indictment was handed out. Then four days later on April 19, Tharpe announced his resignation effective May 2. In both his leave and resignation decisions, Tharpe expressed a desire not to create an undue distraction to the conduct of town government business while the prosecution is hanging over his head.

As press releases fly, plot thickens in Tharpe sex solicitation case

In fact, Bailey’s June 7, 2018 arrest for prostitution plays into defense counsel Downes’ motions filing for his client regarding the Statute of Limitations issue. Citing a one-year statute of limitations related to at least some of the charges, defense counsel notes the current charges filed on May 15, 2019, cite activities occurring between May 1 and June 7, 2018.

“Where the alleged offenses, in part, supposedly occurred two weeks after … the expiration of the statute of limitations, does the Court bar the prosecution of all or some of the Commonwealth’s case?” Downes asks, presenting two possible courses of action.

“If the Commonwealth were to amend the warrants to reflect that the offense occurred on or about May 15, 2018 to June 7, 2018, that would be in compliance with Virginia Code § 19.2-8. However, if the warrant of arrest was filed in good faith and the affiant, Detective D. L. Fogle, was unable to more precisely identify when the illegal conduct occurred, than the entire prosecution should be barred without probable cause to believe that the subject offenses occurred within the one-year statute of limitations.”

Downes may see the writing on the wall, or more precisely in the Criminal Complaint tied to Bailey’s felony warrant of receiving money “from the earnings of a person engaged in prostitution.” The complaint specifies the visit of undercover operative to the massage parlor on June 7, 2018.

So were the statute of limitations issue resolved as Downes predicts it could be, he continues to request Discovery regarding the allegations against his client, including her receiving earnings from prostitution from others; as well as raising the possibility his client is facing unconstitutional double jeopardy in being charged a second time for the same offenses leading to her initial indictment last year.

“Without identifying the specific date, or dates, that the Defendant is alleged to have committed these offenses, the Commonwealth may be unconstitutionally subjecting the Defendant to multiple punishments for the same offense,” Downes writes of the vagueness of the “on or about May 1 to June 7, 2018” timeframe cited in the warrant and her June 7, 2018 arrest.

The Criminal Complaint attached to the May 15, 2019 warrant describes Bailey and Brandy Atkinson meeting an undercover operative who was given “a menu that laid out prices and services” for hand massages by “a topless and/or panties only” masseuse “which included a ‘happy ending’.” The undercover operative then asked about “additional sexual activities such as oral sex” leading to a $150 price offer involving both women, the complaint states.

“Once the terms were established and agreed upon units converged on the residence,” the complaint describes how the police operation of June 7, 2018 concluded.

The involvement of the men charged is explained as providing security for the massage parlor operation and it is noted in parentheses “Joshua drove Brandy to the appointment on 6/07/19” though the year appears to be a typo since that date has yet to occur unless you have a time machine like famed British TV character Dr. Who’s TARDIS.

It is elaborated in the criminal complaint that Jesse Atkinson used the Biggs Drive address to obtain a business license for a “handyman/landscaping service” under the name Blue Valley Services.

That business license expired in 2017 but according to the Criminal Complaint the massage parlor advertised its services at various online sites at the Blue Valley Services business address.

“During the investigation several ads were located on Craigslist and Facebook pertaining to the massage parlor. During the investigation it was revealed that additional activities were taking place at the ‘massage parlor’,” the complaint states. One hint may have been an employment post on Craigslist noting, “Let’s face it, if you are young and pretty you will make more money here.”

Share the News:


Tragedy strikes Shenandoah County: Motorcycle rider dead, car driver charged with DUI, involuntary manslaughter



In a tragic turn of events, a two-vehicle crash in Shenandoah County resulted in the death of a motorcyclist and left another driver seriously injured. The Virginia State Police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The collision, which occurred on Sunday, May 28, took place around noon on Route 11, also known as Old Valley Pike, just north of Mooreland Gap Road. According to reports, a 2013 Ford Edge, traveling southbound on Route 11, veered across the centerline, resulting in a head-on collision with a 2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycle traveling in the opposite direction.

The motorcyclist, identified as Bradley L. Painter, 57, of Mount Jackson, VA, was declared dead at the scene, succumbing to injuries sustained in the crash. Authorities confirmed that Painter was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.



The driver of the Ford, 28-year-old Jony Salazar Ortiz from New Market, VA, sustained serious injuries in the crash. Emergency responders transported Ortiz to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for treatment. Police confirmed that he was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident.

In a subsequent development, Ortiz was taken into custody and is facing severe charges related to the crash. Authorities have charged him with one felony count of driving under the influence leading to involuntary manslaughter and one misdemeanor count of driving without a valid operator’s license.

Ortiz is currently being held without bond at RSW Regional Jail.

The Virginia State Police are actively investigating the crash. More information will be released as the investigation continues, and anyone with further information is urged to contact the local authorities. The incident serves as a sobering reminder of the critical importance of responsible driving and the tragic consequences that can result from negligence on the road.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


Joint Task Force Apprehends Child Pornography Suspect in Linden, Virginia



In a successful multi-jurisdictional operation, a Linden man was arrested on May 25th following an extensive child pornography investigation. John P. Farley Jr., 70, of the 900 block of Northern Spy Drive, Linden, was arrested and charged with 16 counts of child pornography-related offenses.



The Warren County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division (CID), upon receiving information from the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) Police, conducted a search warrant at Farley’s residence in March 2023. During this operation, several electronic devices from Farley’s home office were seized and handed over to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Digital Forensics Unit for detailed examination.

Upon scrutiny, it was revealed that out of a total of 68 flagged items, 16 met the strict definitions of child pornography under Virginia state law. These items were carefully assessed by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Hajduk, leading to the formal charges under Virginia Code § 18.2-374.1:1 against Farley.

This collaborative effort showcases the crucial role of cross-jurisdictional operations in combating internet crimes against children. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is a dedicated member of the NOVA/DC Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, an initiative coordinated by the Virginia State Police.

This case underscores the effectiveness of collective efforts across multiple law enforcement bodies, with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office acknowledging the pivotal assistance from the MWAA Police and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

As the fight against child exploitation continues, the public is urged to contribute any relevant information. For any details related to this case or the potential exploitation of minors, please contact Investigator Hajduk at the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at (540) 635-7100 ext. 2223 or via email at

Law enforcement agencies stress the importance of community engagement in identifying and detaining child predators, maintaining that collective vigilance plays a critical role in preserving the safety and welfare of our children.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


Blue Ridge Task Force strikes major blow to local drug trade



A resident of Rappahannock County, Eric L. Butler, 45, has been arrested following a six-month-long investigation led by the Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force.

The Task Force executed a search warrant on Butler’s Brinkley Lane residence on Thursday, May 25. The operation led to the seizure of substantial amounts of illicit drugs, including 100 grams of cocaine, 20 grams of heroin, and 100 grams of marijuana. The drugs seized have an estimated street value of around $18,000.

Law enforcement officers also confiscated $21,792 in currency, a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe, and seven firearms during the raid.

Eric L. Butler


$21,792 in currency, a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe, and seven firearms were confiscated during the raid.


Butler is now facing multiple felony charges related to drug trafficking and illegal firearm possession. Specifically, he has been charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute a schedule I/II drug, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of possession of a firearm while in possession of a schedule I/II drug, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Following his arrest, Butler was transported to the RSW Regional Jail, where he is currently being held on a secured bond.

The Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force, which led the investigation and subsequent arrest, is a coalition of law enforcement personnel from several local Sheriff’s Offices, Police Departments, and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Task Force includes members from the Rappahannock, Fauquier, Orange, Madison, and Culpeper Sheriff’s Offices; the Culpeper, Warrenton, and Orange Police Departments; and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Culpeper Field Office.

This operation underscores the ongoing efforts by local and state law enforcement agencies to tackle drug trafficking and associated crimes in Virginia. The successful arrest and charges brought against Butler represent a significant victory in these efforts. Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious activities to their local law enforcement agencies, as community involvement plays a crucial role in maintaining a safe and drug-free community.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


Landlord-Tenant dispute escalates into gunfire at Shenandoah Farms residence



A long-standing dispute took a dangerous turn early this morning as shots were fired at a Shenandoah Farms residence. Local authorities were summoned to 100 block Mountain Laurel Lane following reports of a heated altercation involving a firearm. The address was previously known to the deputies due to an ongoing conflict between the landlord and the tenants.

Upon arriving at the scene, deputies gathered evidence, including eyewitness accounts and a cell phone video captured by a bystander. The investigation revealed that 68-year-old Alan Wayne Forney allegedly fired a 12-gauge shotgun into the air and above the head of another individual, Jessie Lake, during the heat of the argument.

Forney was promptly arrested on charges of brandishing and recklessly handling a firearm and subsequently transported to the Rappahannock/Warren/Shenandoah Jail. A 12-gauge shotgun believed to be used in the incident was collected from the scene as evidence.

As the investigation continues, officials are encouraging anyone with additional information to come forward. Contact Deputy Doffermire at 540-635-4128 with any relevant details that could aid in the investigation.

This incident serves as a chilling reminder of the potential escalation of ongoing disputes and the role of the community in ensuring safety.


Share the News:
Continue Reading


Reckless firearm discharge leads to serious injury, 19-year-old in custody



A young woman was treated at Warren Memorial Hospital after a reckless firearm discharge resulted in a gunshot wound. Authorities report that the incident occurred outside town limits and is currently under investigation by Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

The Front Royal Police Department initially responded to a report from hospital staff regarding a gunshot wound victim who sought treatment at the facility. Quickly ascertaining that the shooting incident occurred outside their jurisdiction, they handed over the investigation to Warren County Sheriff’s Office.



Investigation findings suggest that the female victim sustained her injury due to the reckless handling of a 9mm Glock handgun by 19-year-old Nathaniel Liam Duncan. The incident took place on May 19, 2023, around 22:15 hrs on Rt 55/Strasburg Rd, as the victim was driving from Shenandoah County. The occupants of the vehicle, including the suspect, had recently left a gathering where alcohol was consumed.

Witnesses report that Duncan started to show off the Glock firearm in the moving vehicle, to the surprise of many who were unaware of the weapon’s existence. Despite the urging of a female passenger to stow the firearm safely, Duncan negligently discharged it, with the bullet passing through the driver’s seat and into the driver’s body. Remarkably, the injured driver managed to drop off all passengers at a residence before seeking hospital treatment.

Authorities later apprehended Duncan at a Warren County residence without any incident. The Glock firearm suspected to have been used in the incident was recovered from a shed at the same property.

Duncan has since been charged under Code of Virginia 18.2-56.1 for Felony Reckless handling of a firearm causing serious bodily injury to another resulting in permanent and significant physical impairment.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has expressed its gratitude to the Front Royal Police Department for their prompt involvement and assistance, which contributed significantly to the swift handling of the investigation.

This investigation is ongoing, and the authorities are appealing to anyone with information regarding the case to contact Lieutenant M. Glavis at (540) 635-7100 ext. 1. The incident serves as a grim reminder of the potential consequences of irresponsible firearm handling, particularly when alcohol is involved.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


WCPS staff members at Hilda J. Barbour Elementary on leave following complaint; Joint investigation by Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Social Services underway



Warren County Public School’s administration was made aware of a complaint involving staff members at Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School. The staff members were placed on leave pending an investigation. WCPS employees immediately contacted the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Social Services to conduct a joint investigation into the complaint.

Parents with children in the affected classroom were contacted and were asked to speak to their child and to contact WCPS personnel if they had additional questions or information.

Staffing has been shifted to provide continued educational services and supports in the classroom.

This is an ongoing investigation, and no additional comments will be made at this time.

Press Release from Warren County Public Schools.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
5:48 am8:32 pm EDT
Feels like: 72°F
Wind: 1mph NNW
Humidity: 49%
Pressure: 29.98"Hg
UV index: 4

Upcoming Events

10:00 am Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Boston Mill Road Trail near the Park Office. Learn how fences and tree plantings improve water quality at Sky Meadows State Park with a special Explorer Outpost. Stop by our station along Boston Mill Road[...]
10:00 am National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 10:00 am – Jun 4 @ 1:00 pm
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Picnic Area. Join park trailblazers and get your hands dirty as we work to enhance the trail surface on Hadow Trail. All ages are welcome and no experience is required. Round trip hike to the[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Log Cabin in the Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log Cabin to see what is cooking on the hearth. Immerse yourself within the 19th century enslaved culture and its foods. Explore the taste[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Jun 3 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
1:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of Beekeepers of the Northern Shenandoah (BONS – online at and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 7 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
8:30 am Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 10 @ 8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Turner Pond Entrance. Explore the Crooked Run Valley and Sky Meadows State Park with Bishop’s Events 5k and 10k races. Get rejuvenated as you traverse through the meadows, pastures and woodlands of Sky Meadows and[...]
10:00 am Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 10 @ 10:00 am – Jun 11 @ 11:00 am
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Overnight Parking Lot. Ready to try backcountry camping? Spend 24 hours in nature learning backcountry skills and survival techniques with professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch. With Sky Meadows’ Backcountry Campground as the[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 14 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]