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Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Barbour County Sheriff, Commission
Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on July 23, 2013 @ 5:04PM
Created on July 23, 2013 @ 5:36PM

5 News Update (7/23)

Brittany Keene's Counsel released this statement regarding Sheriff Hawkins' statement from early Tuesday: 

"For many years, Sheriff Hawkins has been victimizing young women in Barbour County and this lawsuit should come as no surprise to him.  The public has a right to know about the conduct of their elected official.  Ms. Keene's motive is to protect other women ... period.

Our office has obtained text messages, e-mails, and Facebook correspondence that corroborates our client's claims.  Sworn statements from the five victims listed in the complaint, as well as others, have also been provided. While many of those in power have turned their heads to the outrageous conduct of the Sheriff, we intend to put a stop to it.  We look forward to our day in court." - Harris Law Offices, Counsel for Plaintiff (Ms. Keene)

5 News Update (7/23)

Tuesday morning Sheriff Hawkins released a statement regarding the case:
"First and foremost, I deny the allegations in the complaint." He went on to say "I am sorry my family and friends have to go through this yet again. No one knows until they live through this, the toll it takes on spouses, children, and other relatives." He continues "as for me and my office I am surrounded by a competent and caring staff. The Sheriff's Office in Barbour County will continue to operate on a daily basis."

Original Story (7/22)

A Barbour County woman has filed suit against the county commission and sheriff over several accusations, including unlawful arrest and sexual assault.

The suit, filed in U.S. Federal Court in Elkins, accuses Sheriff John Hawkins of a number of charges named in a 15 count indictment.

Just last year, Keene was facing charges of her own, but she claims those charges were part of a retaliation, after she said Hawkins was acting inappropriate toward her.

Those charges against Keene were dropped.

She's asking for a trial by jury in the federal case against Hawkins and the commission.

To read the full lawsuit, click here.

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