STANARDSVILLE — A Greene County woman who was charged last weekend in connection to a sex crime against a family member was ordered held without bond Thursday.
Christine Weston Chandler, 39, of Ruckersville, was arrested by Henrico County police on Sunday, according to a news release from the Greene County Sheriff’s Office. She was charged with incest, a Class 5 felony that can carry a term of imprisonment of one to 10 years and a fine of up to $2,500.
Greene County General District Judge Kenneth Andrew Sneathern on Wednesday appointed Charlottesville attorney David Heilberg to represent Chandler and, based on the nature of the offense, moved the case to the Greene County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for bond proceedings. At that time, Chandler asked to be addressed with a female pronoun.
Greene Commonwealth’s Attorney Edwin Consolvo asked JDR Judge David M. Barredo to continue to hold Chandler without bond at the Central Virginia Regional Jail in Orange County because he’s “concerned about the community’s safety and Ms. Chandler’s safety.”
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Also known as “Chris-Chan,” Chandler has been the subject of obsessive internet vitriol and trolling for more than a decade following the creation of her “Sonichu” character and web comic. She is also a blogger and YouTuber who has roughly 60,000 followers on Twitter. She was known as Christian Chandler prior to publicly identifying herself as a woman several years ago.
Consolvo said it’s clear that people sought out where Chandler was staying at a hotel in Henrico and videotaped her arrest. Chandler interrupted the proceedings, loudly saying “I’m famous on the internet,” before Heilberg told her not to speak until spoken to by the court.
Chandler was sworn in to summarize a plan she had for bond, but didn’t appear to address that and instead asked the court to allow her to go pick up personal possessions and said she would be “willing to proceed with everything if I can get that done.”
Barredo told Chandler that there are two things to consider when deciding bond: whether a defendant is likely to appear at trial and if the defendant constitutes an unreasonable danger to himself, his family or his community. Chandler again interrupted the judge saying “she.” The judge said he was reading from the state statute itself.
Barredo said that due to the nature of the alleged offense and that there appears to be a personal danger to the defendant and to the public at large, he remanded her held without bond until the next court hearing, scheduled for Sept. 16. Heilberg told the court he would be asking for evaluations of Chandler, who interrupted by stomping her feet and saying loudly that she needed “to get everything back home.” She then said loudly, “I won’t feel safe proceeding until” she gets the items back.
Barredo said Heilberg could file for a possible bond review hearing at a later time as he had only first met with Chandler Thursday morning.
Chandler was arrested following a July 30 post on a web forum dedicated to her life in which texts and audio purported to be from Chandler describe a series of sexual assaults against an elderly, cognitively disabled member of her family.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending, according to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff’s Investigator Jason Tooley at (434) 531-0866.