HARRISONBURG — The General Assembly elected Bridgewater resident Rachel Figura as a new juvenile and domestic relations court judge for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County on Thursday.
Figura, 41, will become the city and county’s first woman judge on May 1. Figura declined to comment on her election.
For about the last 12 years, she has been an assistant attorney for the Rockingham County government, handling social services cases.
A 1995 graduate of Stuart Hall School in Staunton, Figura earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Georgia in 1999. In 2002, she graduated with a law degree from the New England School of Law.
After law school, she spent a year as a legal aide with Blue Ridge Legal Services.
In 2003, she joined the Rockingham County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office as an assistant under Marsha Garst.
Figura mostly handled child sex abuse cases.
“She was an outstanding prosecutor ... an outstanding advocate for children,” Garst said. “She will be a fantastic addition to the bench.”
During her tenure as a prosecutor, Figura secured a record sentence for a sex crime locally.
In April 2006, a jury found Mark Douglas Roadcap, then 36, guilty of 12 felony charges for molesting a girl.
The jury sentenced him to 10 life sentences plus 40 years in prison.
In 2006, she left the commonwealth’s attorney’s office to become an assistant attorney for Rockingham County.
There, she handles cases with Adult Protective Services, Child Protective Services, and foster care.
“It was a great selection,” County Administrator Stephen King said. “She will be a fantastic judge. She’s thoughtful, knowledgeable and serious. She’s everything you’d want in a judge.”
Her last day with the county hasn’t been determined.
Her appointment comes at time when caseloads in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County are on the rise.
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court averages about 8,000 cases a year.
She will be the third JDR judge in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, joining David O’Donnell and Anthony Bailey.
The county and city are in the process of remodeling a portion of the two-floor judicial complex on Harrisonburg’s Court Square to handle more cases.
Adult court services is moving to the County Administration Center on East Gay Street to make room for an additional JDR courtroom.
Figura is married to Phil Figura, assistant state attorney general, who serves as chief prosecutor handling gang and cold cases in the Tidewater area. He began working for the Attorney General’s Office in 2006 under Bob McDonnell.
Figura’s election was one of several affecting courts in the Shenandoah Valley.
The General Assembly selected Chad A. Logan of Quicksburg and Daryl L. Funk of Front Royal as juvenile and domestic relations court judges for the 26th Judicial District, which stretches from Warren to Rockingham counties. William W. Sharp of Warren County was selected as a circuit court judge. He previously served a JDR judge.
Logan also previously served as an assistant prosecutor in Rockingham County under Garst.
State Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, applauded the selections in a prepared statement.
“The judges selected for circuit court and juvenile and domestic relations court are bright and talented individuals who will be positive assets in their respective venues,” he said.
Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, also released a statement support the choices.
“The judges selected today are well-qualified, intelligent and accomplished, and all have the type of sound judicial philosophy we want in our judges,” he said.