NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Community News Network

September 26, 2013

Magistrate investigated for racy Facebook messages to defendant

PRINCETON, W.Va. — A magistrate in southern West Virginia is under investigation after his racy Facebook messages with a woman who has appeared in his courtroom were made public.

Screenshots of private messages between Mercer County Magistrate Richard "Rick" Fowler and the woman include graphic conversations and apparent plans to meet for sex. Criminal records indicate the woman appeared in Fowler’s court three times in the past year on various charges, including domestic violence and obstructing an officer.

"This has to be private," Fowler said in a message, according to a screenshot shared with the Bluefield (W.Va.) Daily Telegraph. "If anyone knew.....it would keep me frim [sic] being able to help you out with other things in the future. ok? [sic]"

Fowler said the messages were taken out of context and are part of a plot by a political rival to get him out of office. The local prosecutor has asked the sheriff's department to investigate.

Fowler called the investigation "kind of ridiculous."

"I'm not married, this girl is not married and we goof around and talk on Facebook. We tease and talk crap," he said. "…Outside of a court hallway, I’ve never seen her — even in Walmart."

Fowler said he tries to help everyone who comes before him. "I'd do a favor for the devil if he needed it. My theory is if you help someone and never see them again, it worked."

Last year, Fowler was admonished by the state Judicial Investigation Commission for an inappropriate relationship with a woman who was the wife and victim of a man who had appeared before him.

According to the complaint, Fowler began dating the woman "approximately two months after the criminal charges had been resolved against her now ex-husband but at a time when he was still serving probation."

When asked by an investigator about the relationship, "Magistrate Fowler maintained that he never dated the wife/victim," the complaint states. Later, in a second interview, Fowler admitted having a personal relationship with the woman.

Fowler has served as a magistrate in Mercer County since 2004.

Details for this story were reported by The Bluefield (W.Va.) Daily Telegraph.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network

Offbeat
NDN Video
Joel McHale Interviews Chelsea Goliath Grouper eats shark in one bite US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Sicilian hilltop homes on sale for one euro Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Breaking Up? Motorcyclist Sticks Landing This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World Watch Helicopter Perform Aerial Ballet Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Victoria's Secret Models Prove They're in Fighting Shape How Brian Hoyer Stacks Up With Johnny Manziel Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans