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County family services worker under arrest for reported rape

The Fairfax County Adult Detention Center (file photo)

(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) An employee of the Fairfax County Department of Family Services has been arrested for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting a woman last week.

Detectives with the Fairfax County Police Department’s Major Crimes Bureau arrested Ernest Melo, 35, of Centreville on Sunday (July 2) after the victim reported the June 28 assault to police a day earlier.

On Wednesday night, the victim met Melo at a restaurant outside of Fairfax County. Prior to this occasion, the two were not known to each other. The two parties went back to the victim’s house in the Mount Vernon Police District. At the home, Melo raped and sexually assaulted the victim.

Melo has been charged with rape and two counts of sodomy. He’s in custody without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

After the arrest, detectives determined that Melo works for the Department of Family Services as a human services assistant, the FCPD said.

DFS said it has no comment “on this specific situation” and doesn’t comment on personnel matters.

However, it backed the FCPD’s request that anyone with information related to the case contact detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3. The police department also accepts anonymous tips through Fairfax Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) or online.

“The Department of Family Services, Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Division offers resources and services for victims of sexual violence, including hospital accompaniment and emotional support,” a DFS spokesperson said.

The county has a 24-hour hotline for people experiencing domestic and sexual violence at 703-360-7273. Its services include crisis support, information and referrals, counseling and safety planning.

A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sept. 20, according to the Fairfax County General District Court’s online information system.

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