General District Court Judge Deborah C. Welsh on Wednesday found Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company Emergency Medical Technician Nicholas Mets guilty of sexual battery.
Mets was charged in December 2019 with two counts of sexual battery, a Class 1 misdemeanor, following a sexual assault he committed against a colleague in August 2019. According to Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System Public Information Officer Laura Rinehart, Mets was operationally suspended from the county’s fire-rescue system after its leaders were made aware of the complaint.
This week, the case went to trial and Welsh found Mets guilty of one count of sexual battery, and not guilty of the other. She imposed a $250 fine and 180 days of jail time, with all of that time suspended. Under Virginia law, a Class 1 misdemeanor conviction can be punished by up to a year in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine.
Following Mets’ conviction on Wednesday, Rinehart said the fire-rescue system’s Office of Professional Standards would work with the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company to proceed accordingly.
“This is not behavior that is in line with our core values and we take these incidents very seriously,” she said.