UPDATE: Council aide Hathcock charged with sexual assault

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email | facebook
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Richmond Police charged the top aide to the city council president with sexual assault. 64-year-old David Hathcock is accused of inappropriately touching another city council aide.

The charges were filed Thursday and David Hathcock turned himself over to police Friday morning. He was booked and released. The accusations and lawsuits have been swirling around City Hall for months. They go as high as the city council president.

David Hathcock is the top aide to the leader of the city council, Kathy Graziano. He's accused of assault by the top aide to City Council Member Bruce Tyler. Her name is Jennifer Walle. She's gone public with her story.

Hayden Fisher is her attorney.

"It's been a long time coming. Jennifer initially did not want to make this public. She wanted it to be handled. Internally, privately," said Fisher.

Walle says in April, Hathcock came into her office at City Hall and harmfully and offensively touched her on the butt after pulling her onto a chair and on top of him. The lawsuit further accused Hathcock of telling Walle "I just want you for your body."

Walle says Hathcock tried to kiss her and when she tried to report what happened to Council President Graziano, she says Graziano told her, she could either quit or deal with it.

Graziano has denied that.

Walle filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the city and Graziano. She says Graziano mishandled the situation. She's also suing Hathcock accusing him of unwanted sexual advances.

Reached by phone this morning, David Hathcock said, quote: "I absolutely deny these allegations. Any detailed response will come from my attorney in the proper format. We look forward to this being tried in the courts and not in the media."

Walle's attorney says his 26-year-old client should not have to deal with a very public and embarrassing lawsuit.

"This is about getting the truth out and having justice served," Fisher said.

Graziano said she's saddened by the situation.  In a statement she said quote: "I have worked with David for more than 6 years and he has always been an extremely valuable and professional employee. This is now a legal issue between Mr. Hathcock and Ms. Walle. I am anxious for this matter to finally be put to rest."

If convicted Hathcock faces up to a year in jail on each charge and a $2500 fine. No court date has been set.

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