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Former Mary Washington police officer arrested for sexual assault

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- A former University of Mary Washington Police Sergeant and professor has been arrested and charged with sexual assault against a woman, according to the Mary Washington Police Chief Michael Hall. William Robert Somers, 35, of Bowling Green, faces two felony counts of forcible sodomy. The charges stem from an investigation of a sexual assault that occurred Saturday, December 12, in the City of Fredericksburg, according to Virginia State Police. Somers resigned from the school Monday and turned himself in on the charges Wednesday, according to Hall.

William Robert Somers, 35

William Robert Somers, 35

The alleged victim, Lexi Coleman, a 24-year-old transgender woman from Fredericksburg, said the incident took place inside a suite in the university’s basketball arena.

“I remember staring at the wall thinking to myself, ‘when is this going to be done,’” Coleman said.

Coleman said she had known Somers for three and a half years.

Somers had been working at UMW for just over four years. He also taught rape aggression defense classes for women, according to the university's website. Somers is also a former U.S. Army Special Operations Self-Defense and Survival Specialist, according to the university website.

Lexi Coleman

Lexi Coleman

“That makes me feel even worse and he was teaching young women and he was taking advantage of them,” Coleman said.

Despite what she called a life altering event, Coleman said she felt the need to come forward and tell her story publicly.

“The biggest reason I’m coming forward to let people know it's okay to tell someone and get justice out there.”

Somers is currently being held at Rappahannock Regional jail without bond.