Tysons, VA

An Arlington County resident was sentenced to 65 years in prison last Friday for two sexual assaults, including one that occurred in Falls Church in 2014.

Alexandria City Circuit Court Judge Lisa B. Kemler sentenced Jesse Bjerke, 39, on Oct. 2 to serve 30 years in prison for the Falls Church sexual assault and 35 years for a similar sexual assault that took place in the City of Alexandria in 2016.

“The detectives assigned to the 2014 sexual assault case always strived for justice and closure for the victim,” Fairfax County Police Department Major Crimes Bureau Commander Maj. Ed O’Carroll said before the court accepted Bjerke’s no-contest plea earlier this year. “Our detectives never give up and I’m proud of their dedicated efforts on this case and all our others.”

According to Fairfax County police, the Falls Church assault took place at a community pool in the Yarling Court area on Aug. 1, 2014 when a man approached the victim, a 20-year-old female lifeguard.

The man displayed a firearm, used zip ties to bind the victim’s hands together, and injected her with the anesthetic drug Ketamine before sexually assaulting her.

A Virginia Department of Forensic Science analysis of evidence collected at the crime scene revealed the presence of Ketamine and DNA from an unknown man.

After submitting evidence from their case to the Department of Forensic Science, Alexandria City Police identified Bjerke as a strong person of interest and arrested him in February 2019 after a genetic genealogy analysis by Parabon NanoLabs confirmed that the same suspect had committed both assaults.

Investigators determined that Bjerke had also committed a sexual assault in Falls Church two years earlier after comparing forensic evidence collected at the crime scenes in both cases.

Fairfax County prosecutors indicted Bjerke for the Falls Church assault on Mar. 12. The charges included rape, object sexual penetration, abduction with intent to defile, and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

The venue for both cases shifted to the Alexandria City Circuit Court after Fairfax County and Alexandria prosecutors cooperated on a joint plea agreement and sentencing.

According to WTOP, Bjerke pleaded guilty to six felonies connected to the Alexandria sexual assault in October 2019. He pleaded no contest to the Falls Church case and was convicted in March.

Fairfax County police say that victim specialists from the department’s Major Crimes Bureau victim services division have been assigned to the case to provide resources and assistance to the victim.

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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Morning Notes

VDOT: Slow Down, Beware of Slick Spots — “[VDOT] crews worked overnight to treat roads and will continue to do so today, as needed. If you can delay travel until the sun comes up, great. If not, please assume that all surfaces are icy. Your commute *will* take longer today. Reduce speeds, no heavy braking, and use your headlights!” [Twitter]

Fairfax County Government Open on Time — “Fairfax County Government offices are open on Wednesday, Jan. 30, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Employees are reminded that they should notify their supervisor if they elect to use unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.” [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Fairfax Connector Running Extra Service — “To accommodate passengers who are reporting to work later than usual this morning due to inclement weather, Fairfax Connector will operate extra service on the following routes today: 394, 395, 599, 698, 699.” [Twitter]

Wind and Wind Chill Warnings — Fairfax County is under a Wind Advisory through 6 p.m. tonight; wind gusts of up to 50 mph could result in downed trees and power lines. A Wind Chill Advisory will go into effect at 9 p.m., as whipping winds and falling temperatures cause wind chills to dip to -5 to -10 degrees. [Weather.gov, Weather.gov]

Prison Sentence for Fraudster — “A woman was sentenced in Alexandria federal court to 15 years in prison for defrauding over 50 victims out of more than $5.4 million. Among the victims was a 71-year-old McLean woman with cancer.” [Patch]

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