The recent arrest of a Lewis County assessor on harassment charges has surprised the community he serves. The 38-year-old man of Jane Lew, West Virginia, is accused of harassing a victim in several ways. News reports say he sent hundreds of texts to the victim during all hours of the day. He also allegedly called the victim hundreds of times as well. Potentially worse, the defendant reportedly would remain on the victim's driveway and porch for hours at a time without leaving the premises.
The assessor released a statement on his Facebook page denying the accusations. He said the "allegations out there are completely and utterly baseless," adding that he and his attorneys plan to launch a defense against the "false allegations."
As the defendant is a government official who is up for re-election this year, his case reveals the deeper dangers associated with criminal charges of this nature. Being accused alone has the potential to derail his aspirations and result in other long-term consequences to his career and his personal life. If he is convicted, he will probably have to say goodbye to his government job for good. He could also spend time imprisoned which would likely have a profound effect on other areas of his life.
This defendant, and others charged with similar crimes, should indeed launch a vigorous defense as soon as possible. Once charged, the best course of action is setting out to prove that such accusations are false. With a strong legal team at his side, the defendant has a real chance to clear his name and avoid being dragged through the public court system any further.
Source: MetroNews, "Lewis County Assessor arrested on harassment charge," Alex Wiederspiel, April 20, 2016