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Henrico bondsman sentenced for soliciting sexual favors for bail

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – A Henrico bondsman accused of offering women bail in exchange for sexual favors was sentenced Wednesday afternoon to 30 months in prison.

This comes after Vladimir Tarabay, the former owner of Fast Bail Bonding, pleaded no contest to three misdemeanors of solicitation of prostitution and carnal knowledge of a bailed person in February.

Under the agreement between the prosecution and defense, multiple counts of forcible sodomy and abduction with intent to defile were dropped.

The alleged crimes came to light in July of 2016 when at least two alleged victims came forward to tell police about the practices of Fast Bail Bonding.

Since then more than 20 women came forward with similar allegations against Tarabay.

Prosecutor Michael Feinmel said he was satisfied with the judge's ruling.

"I felt like the criminal justice was there to send a strong message," Feinmel said.

Prosecutors said he would offer services in exchange for sexual favors.

"Mr. Tarabay, in our opinion, preyed on people who really needed the protection of the system and people that were at a really low point in their lives and were willing to do whatever they could do to get out of jail," Feinmel said.

The 61-year-old asked Judge Gary Hicks for mercy moments before his sentencing.

"It was poor judgement over the last year or so," Tarabay said. "I showed very, very, poor judgement. I want to make it clear that these things were inappropriate."

In his defense, Tarabay's two daughters and son described him as a family man with a strong faith and successful businesses.

However, the judge said criminal behavior overshadowed that legacy.

"It's inappropriate and a gross act of judgement -- and it's wrong," Hicks said.

Feinmel said the case was a black mark on the criminal justice system.

"As a man that by all intents and purposes did everything right, raised his family was pillar in the community, but then just started making horrible choices and took advantage of a lot of people in the process," said Feinmel.

In addition to 30 months in prison, Tarabay will face $7,500 in fines and may not practice in Henrico County.

Tarabay has already surrendered his license.

His family declined comment after the sentencing as did his attorneys since Tarabay faces similar charges in Prince George County.

That hearing is scheduled to go forward on June 1.

Testimony during trial

Earlier this year Judge Gary Hicks heard testimony from several women that Tarabay, also known as Mr. Fast, had a reputation.

The victims testified that Tarabay allowed them to pay a small amount of bond money and pay the rest off by performing sex acts or having sex with him.

Judge Hicks also listened to jailhouse phone conversations between those victims and Tarabay, in which code words like "paperwork" were used, not money, to describe how they would pay off the bond.

Defense attorneys questioned the credibility of the alleged victims, who had been arrested on multiple occasions. The defense questioned if the women were offered a deal by prosecutors to come forward.