The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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
Community News Network
  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • watching-tv.jpg Cutting the cord on cable TV, and not missing it a bit

    Three years ago, Royse City Herald Banner reporter Chris McGathey and his family decided to ditch pay TV in favor of Netflix, Hulu Plus and other cheaper web-based services. It's a decision they haven't regretted.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • spt_baylor.jpg VIDEO: Angels hitting coach suffers bizarre leg injury

    LA Angels hitting coach Don Baylor suffered a broken leg while squatting to catch a ceremonial first pitch from former Angel Vladimir Guerrero on Opening Day.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • barbour021614.jpg Sibling says Dexter drama motivated sister's 'lie' of mass murder

    The older sister of Miranda Barbour, who claims she murdered more than 22 "bad people" over six years, says the story is a lie that stems from infatuation with the Showtime TV series about a Miami cop who leads a secret life as a serial killer.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Fact Checker: 'Birth control' for something other than family planning?

    "When 99 percent of women used birth control in their lifetime and 60 percent use it for something other than family planning, it's outrageous and I think the Supreme Court will suggest that their case is ridiculous."

    March 31, 2014

  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • touch.jpg Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault

    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • firefighters.jpg VIDEO: Firefighters sing song from 'Frozen' to calm girl stuck in elevator

    Firefighters in Reading, Mass., sing the Disney power ballad known by children everywhere -- "Let It Go" -- to calm a 4-year-old stuck in an elevator.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • muffin-brunch-food-breakfast.jpg Can what you eat affect your mental health?

    Jodi Corbitt had been battling depression for decades and by 2010 had resigned herself to taking antidepressant medication for the rest of her life. Then she decided to start a dietary experiment.

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140325-AMX-BARISTA251.jpg Coffee's third wave? The Apple to Starbucks' Microsoft

    Do you remember when Starbucks was cool? It opened in Seattle in the 1970s as a local specialty roaster, a trendy alternative to the prevailing generic swill. But the price of conquest is cachet. What was once novel — the warm décor, the gentle music, the faux-Italian lingo — has become banal. Today's coffee snobs would rather snort Sanka than set foot inside a Starbucks

    March 25, 2014 2 Photos

Elections
Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.