By November 26, 2019 Read More →

W.Va. State Police says trooper sexually assaulted 2 women; he was never charged

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series examining misconduct within the West Virginia State Police, and how the department responds. Click here to read Part 2.

By Jake Zuckerman, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Trooper Newton Higginbotham followed a woman from her night shift at a gas station. He pulled her over and approached her vehicle.

“I’m going back to my car, and when I come back, I want all your clothes off,” the West Virginia State Police trooper said, according to a lawsuit filed against him in federal court.

It was nearly midnight on a back road in Petersburg. The woman was on probation on charges tied to drug use and didn’t want to risk going back to jail. So she took her clothes off. Higginbotham sexually assaulted her, putting his fingers in her vagina, according to internal police records and a lawsuit. The assault lasted about two minutes until a car drove past, ending the encounter.

“Don’t tell anyone this happened,” the woman said Higginbotham told her.

As authorities investigated her allegation, another woman came forward and accused Higginbotham of another sexual assault. …

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