CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia State Police determined that one of its own troopers sexually assaulted two women, yet was never charged.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Friday that the case is just one example of how the state spends millions in taxpayer money to settle lawsuits.
An internal state police investigation found the women’s allegations against trooper Newton Higginbotham to be credible. Both were vulnerable – one was on probation, and the other sought protection from domestic violence by her husband. Higginbotham admitted using his status as a trooper to get them alone. The first settled for $150,000, the second lawsuit is ongoing.
The FBI determined the first encounter was consensual. State police say the FBI never interviewed the second victim. Higginbotham resigned but wasn’t prosecuted. He declined to comment.