Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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
  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • 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

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 10, 2014

  • 297px-Starbucks_Corporation_Logo_2011.svg.png Why Starbucks won't recycle your paper coffee cup

    When you drop that used white paper cup into the bin next to the door at a Starbucks, have you done your part to save the planet? Starbucks has long hoped that you would think so. After all, there's no better way to attract an affluent, eco-conscious clientele than to convince customers that your disposable product is "renewable."

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don't blame voters for low turnout

    Suppose nobody votes this year. On Nov. 4 the doors to the polling places are thrown open, and there isn't anyone in line. No absentee ballots are filed. No one litigates, charging either fraud or discrimination, because there weren't any voters.
    It won't happen. But if it did, pundits and activists would surely blame public apathy for such a catastrophe. I'd name a different culprit: the major parties, their candidates and their acolytes in the news media.

    April 4, 2014

AP Video
Business Marquee
College Sports
Pro Sports
Facebook