A judge has dismissed a protective order against Lexington Police Sgt. Jervis Middleton after she concluded there was no evidence he spied on or stalked a woman.
The dismissal clears one legal hurdle for Middleton, who also has been criminally charged with misdemeanor official misconduct in connection with the episode. He pleaded not guilty to that charge Tuesday. He was suspended from the department pending the resolution of the charge.
Middleton smiled in the courthouse hallway following Thursday’s hearing, which included more than two hours of cross-examination of the woman who made the allegations. The high-profile sergeant chose not to speak during the session before family court Judge Kathy Stein.
The woman and Middleton had an on-and-off sexual relationship for nearly two years before splitting in July, attorneys said.
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The woman claimed Middleton had spied on or stalked her on several occasions in 2018 and showed up at locations she did not tell him she would be.
“Are you watching me? Do you have cameras on me?” the woman testified Thursday, describing one of the encounters. “How do you know things I have said? Are you checking my texts?
“Everywhere I was, he was always there,” she added.
Middleton’s attorney, Scott Crosbie, argued his client’s appearances at the same places were coincidental.
Lexington police Lt. Albert Johnson is handling the criminal investigation of Middleton and appeared as a witness Thursday.
Johnson said a couple of Lexington police officers ran the license plate in late July of a new friend of the woman. Middleton had also requested information from officers on the woman’s ex-husband and other individuals, Johnson said Thursday.
Despite the woman being suspicious Middleton was spying on her, they maintained a sexual relationship and he drove her son to day care on occasion, according to court testimony.
The woman claimed the spying culminated Aug. 2 in a man lying on her rooftop looking into the living room where she and a male friend were sitting on a couch.
The woman said in her gut she knew the man on the roof was Middleton, and she saw the suspect leave in a vehicle resembling his. She called 911 to file a police report, and Middleton arrived soon after officers got to the scene, the woman testified.
Middleton denied any accusations, she testified. She was not able to provide any evidence Middleton was on her rooftop.
The following day, the woman found out Middleton was married and had been for the duration of their relationship, she said.
Although she sought court-ordered protection that would require Middleton stay away from her, “I’ve never feared Jervis,” the woman testified. She later said she’s never feared Middleton physically. “It’s like a very impressive manipulation.”
In the protective order the woman filed earlier this month, she said she feared “for the temporary safety of myself and my son.”
The woman’s attorney, Spencer Mancillas, said his client’s life changed when she found out Middleton was married.
“There is a world that existed for (the victim) before Aug. 3, and a world that existed for (her) after Aug. 3,” he said.
“This was not the man she thought she knew for two and a half years,” Mancillas later added.
Crosbie argued the woman didn’t qualify for a protection order since she said she has no fear of Jervis. The judge agreed.
Calling it a close case, Stein said evidence was lacking.
“This says nothing about you,” Stein told the woman. “This says what the evidence allows me to find. And I hope that for all the parties concerned, there will be no further activities between the parties.”