Harris pleads not guilty

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pike County Commissioner Charlie Harris pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of harassment Wednesday in Troy’s Municipal Court.

The charges stem from an alleged incident that took place on July 22 at the Pike County Commission building on Franklin Drive in Troy, according to court documents.

A female victim reported Harris grabbed her by the arms and forcibly kissed her on the mouth, forcing his tongue in to her mouth, while pressing his genitals against her body.

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Harris is alleged to have told the victim to “not run off and tell anyone” and to “keep this between [Harris and the employee].”

The victim filed a police report on July 26. Harris turned himself into police later that same day and was released on a $500 bond.

In addition to the charges filed by the city of Troy, a complaint has been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the grounds of sexual harassment and discrimination. In the complaint filed with the EEOC, the victim alleged that Harris made multiple inappropriate comments to her in 2010, which included Harris calling the victim a “sexy, hot mama” and saying that he wanted “a piece of that.”

The EEOC has 180 days from the time of the incident to investigate the case. The EEOC may choose to take action against Harris if the commission finds the victim’s claims to be truthful.

Harris has remained in his capacity as a county commissioner since his arrest and will continue to serve District 5 through the duration of court proceedings.

The trial date for Harris has been set for Oct. 16 at 1:30 p.m.