UPDATE: Judge says 'it's obvious' sexual assault suspect is intelligent, but manipulative

Joseph Chase Hardin was back in court Tuesday morning for a final probation revocation hearing in connection to a 2016 sexual assault case. The hearing ended up being continued until July 26. (Source: WSAZ)
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP/WSAZ) - UPDATE 7/26/19 @ 4:04 p.m.
Before Judge Alfred Ferguson sent Joseph Chase Hardin to jail, he told the courtroom "it's obvious" the suspect is intelligent and poised, but manipulative.

Three different female students have accused Hardin, a former Marshall University student, of attacking them over the last few years.

"When a woman or a man or a kid says no, that's the end of it," Ferguson said as he revoked Hardin's probation in connection with a 2016 case.

In 2016, a female Marshall University student said he attacked her in her dorm room. Although he was originally charged with sexual assault, Hardin, still a student at the time, entered a Kennedy plea and was convicted of the misdemeanor battery charge. Ferguson originally sentenced Hardin to one year in jail, but suspended that sentence and gave him three years of probation.

The judge says Hardin violated his probation by drinking alcohol and allegedly committing new crimes. Ferguson reinstated the one-year jail sentence Friday, but Hardin will get credit for the 50 days he has already spent behind bars.

Hardin is currently facing sexual assault charges for the second time. Two other female students have accused him of attacking them in separate incidents off-campus in the fall of 2018.

He was a student at the time of all three alleged assaults. Marshall University eventually expelled Hardin June 11, 2019 for violating student conduct policies.

WSAZ will continue to follow along as Hardin's new charges, stemming from the 2018 incidents, play out in court.

UPDATE 7/26/19 @ 12:53 p.m.
A judge has reinstated a jail sentence for a former Marshall University student charged with sexual assault for the second time.

Three different female students have accused Joseph Chase Hardin of attacking them over the last few years.

Hardin is currently facing charges for allegedly sexually assaulting two female students in separate incidents off-campus in the fall of 2018.

However, Hardin's hearing Friday was connected to a previous case involving a third woman.

Law enforcement charged Hardin with sexual assault in 2016 after a Marshall student said he attacked her in her dorm room. Hardin, still a student at the time, entered a Kennedy plea and was convicted of a misdemeanor battery charge.

Judge Alfred Ferguson originally sentenced him to a year in jail for the 2016 case, but suspended that sentence and gave him three years of probation.

Prosecutors say Hardin violated the terms of his probation by drinking alcohol and allegedly committing new crimes.

In court Friday, Judge Ferguson revoked Hardin's probation and reinstated the one-year jail sentence. Hardin will get credit for the 50 days he has already spent behind bars.

Our sister station, WSAZ will continue to follow along as Hardin's new charges, stemming from the 2018 incidents, play out in court.

UPDATE 6/12/2019
Marshall University has expelled a student who is facing sexual assault charges. The student also appeared in court Wednesday morning in connection with his criminal case.

University officials say Joseph Chase Hardin, 22, violated the student conduct policy.

This is the second time Hardin has been charged with sexual assault since being a student at the university. He was arrested for sexual assault in 2016, but was ultimately convicted of a misdemeanor battery charge.

He currently faces four new counts of sexual assault. According to court records, Hardin is accused of attacking two women on separate occasions off campus in the fall of 2018.

“We have taken, and will continue to take, aggressive steps to make sure the entire Marshall community is safe," said President Jerome A. Gilbert. "I have zero tolerance for inappropriate, illegal behavior, and pledge that we will always treat sexual misconduct and violence with the utmost gravity. The safety of our students is our first obligation.”

His expulsion took effect Tuesday, June 11. A university spokeswoman says the decision is final.

"Marshall University has expelled Joseph Chase Hardin for disciplinary reasons in accordance with the university’s SA-3 Student Conduct Disciplinary Procedures," a press release from the university states. "The university determined Hardin violated Marshall University Board of Governors Policy GA-1 as it relates to sections 3.3.4 {Sexual Harassment} and 3.4.1 {Sexual Misconduct}."

The university drew backlash following Hardin's first arrest in 2016 for allowing the suspect to remain a student. Hardin has been continuously enrolled as a student since 2016.

He was 19 years old at the time. According to the police report filed at the Marshall University Police Department, a female student accused Hardin of assaulting her in February of 2016.

He was originally charged with second-degree sexual assault in that case, but entered a Kennedy plea on Jan. 11, 2017 for a misdemeanor battery charge. That type of plea means the defendant accepts punishment, but does not admit guilt.

In that first, Judge Alfred Ferguson sentenced Hardin to a year in jail, but suspended that sentence and gave him three years of probation. Following these new charges, prosecutors are requesting the judge revoke his probation and reinstate a jail sentence.

Hardin appeared before Judge Gregory Howard Wednesday morning and said he wanted to waive a preliminary probation revocation hearing. The case will now return to Judge Ferguson's courtroom for a final sentencing.

A date for the hearing in Judge Ferguson's courtroom has not been set yet. Hardin was arrested Friday

ORIGINAL STORY
New sexual assault charges have been filed against a student who has been able to remain at Marshall University despite being convicted in a 2016 attack against another woman on campus.

News outlets report 22-year-old Joseph Hardin now faces second-degree sexual assault charges involving two more women in September and October 2018. Hardin was jailed Friday for violating probation in the previous case, and has a Wednesday court hearing.

Hardin was indicted on the same charge in 2016, but ultimately entered a Kennedy plea to a lesser charge of battery, allowing him to be convicted without admitting guilt.

Marshall spokeswoman Leah Payne says Hardin is enrolled. An ongoing lawsuit against the school says Hardin's continued attendance forced the first victim to leave the college.

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6/11/2019 7:03:06 AM (GMT -4:00)