Former Upshur magistrate sentenced to jail for a year

BUCKHANNON - A former Upshur County magistrate has been sentenced to one year in jail for battery.

Charlie McCourt was accused of inappropriately touching a woman in a motel room, which her domestic violence case was pending.

McCourt was sentenced Wednesday, May 23, by Circuit Court Judge Alan Moats, after pleading no contest to the misdemeanor charge. He must also register as a sex offender for the next 10 years. The sentence will begin June 1.

According to the Associated Press, McCourt allegedly told a woman he could help her with her domestic violence case, but he needed to see bruises on her legs and breasts. He allegedly touched her inappropriately, and told her to keep his visit a secret.

McCourt, who resigned in March, was suspended by the state Supreme Court in April 2006, a month after the incident allegedly occurred.

McCourt apologized for his actions during Wednesday's sentencing hearing, saying he was sorry for problems he caused the woman, and the judicial system.

McCourt was originally charged with first-degree sexual abuse, bribery in official and political matters, and battery. The trial for those charges ended in a mistrial in March.

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