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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Virginia Social Services System Under Scrutiny: Former CPS Investigator Arrested for Sexual Assault

Written by: Sam Orlando

Richmond, VA – The Virginia Social Services System faces significant scrutiny as former Child Protective Services (CPS) investigator Jessica Duff, 43, of Raphine, VA, has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault involving a minor. This alarming case has prompted calls for a statewide investigation into all CPS agencies, given that someone empowered by the government to protect children might potentially be abusing them. The community is shaken, and a thorough inquiry is necessary.

In an unrelated aspect of Duff's background, she was identified as the same individual who filed Virginia's lawsuit against the gay marriage ban in 2013. She was a named plaintiff in the case, which the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Virginia, Lambda Legal, and the law firm Jenner and Block filed as a federal class action lawsuit. The suit sought the freedom to marry for all same-sex couples in Virginia and an end to Virginia's refusal to recognize marriages same-sex couples have legally entered elsewhere. It is important to note that this aspect of Duff's history is not related to the current charges against her.

Duff was arrested on April 5, 2023, by the United States Marshals Service Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, following investigations by the Augusta County Sheriff's Office and the Staunton Police Department. She is currently detained at Middle River Regional Jail without bond and faces charges of aggravated sexual battery and object sexual penetration.

The Sheriff's news release failed to mention Duff's previous employment as a CPS investigator in Augusta County, raising concerns about transparency in the case. Her prior role within local law enforcement leaves the community with more questions than answers due to the lack of information about her interactions with children while representing the County. It is important to note that no information has been released as to the identity of the victim(s) or the specific allegations against Duff. For many in the community, the Sheriff of Augusta County's press release raises far more questions than it answers.

The Child and Family Services Manual, published by the Virginia Department of Social Services, reveals that individuals in Duff's former position have the authority to remove children from their parents' custody during investigations. The scope of Duff's past power over children in Augusta County is alarming, and the lack of disclosure regarding her government ties in the Sheriff's news release is deeply concerning to residents.

Breaking Through News is conducting a comprehensive inquiry into the case and seeking information from those who may have had personal experiences with Duff as a CPS investigator or faced issues with her attempting to remove their children. If you have relevant information, please contact Breaking Through reporter Sam Orlando at

As the investigation into Duff's actions continues, it is essential for the community to be aware of her previous government affiliations and question why the Augusta County Sheriff chose not to disclose this information. This case underscores the vital importance of transparency and accountability in law enforcement agencies, emphasizing the urgent need for a comprehensive, state-level investigation into the Virginia Social Services System.

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