According to WRAL, a Johnston County commissioner who serves for District 3 was arrested for indecent liberties with a child that he knew from Ignite Bible Fellowship Church located at 3243 US Hwy 70 E, Smithfield, NC 27577.
The 13-year-old victim and her family reported the incident, which occurred on April 18, 2022, to the Johnston County Sheriff's office on June 6, 2022. The family stated that the child and 73-year-old Richard D. Braswell had known each other from church for many years. They alleged that the commissioner bought her gifts and took her places.
Braswell was arrested on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. He has been charged with one count of indecent liberties with a child.
Attorney contributor Kristen Beightol represents victims of sexual assault in the state of North Carolina. As an experienced sexual assault attorney, Kristen helps victims seek justice in civil lawsuits. She recently discussed the legal options available for victims sexually assaulted by a county official.
"Government or county officials have a position that allows them to gain power and trust from the people in the community around them. When their positions involve the safety and governing of the community, people expect that they are trustworthy. Government agencies have a duty to ensure their employees are upstanding community members. To do this, they should conduct background checks on all employees."
"Sexual assault by a government employee is often the result of safety negligence. This may result from a lack of precautions, such as background checks but could also stem from failing to follow up on reports of misconduct. If an agency is deemed negligent, it may be held liable in a civil lawsuit. Victims sexually assaulted by a government or county official should learn more about their legal rights by consulting with an experienced sexual abuse attorney."