The trial of a Lexington police sergeant who is accused of official misconduct got underway Tuesday.
A woman with whom Sgt. Jervis Middleton had a sexual relationship accused him last summer of stalking and spying on her after their relationship ended.
After a police investigation, Middleton, 47, was charged with second-degree official misconduct, a class B misdemeanor. He was accused of using police computers to get information about the woman.
Much of the testimony heard by a jury of three men and three women Tuesday focused on the policy of Lexington police. Under the written policy, officers and civilian employees are to access records such as vehicle registration only for law enforcement purposes.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
Middleton has been suspended with pay while his case makes its way through the judicial process.
The trial is expected to last two days. If convicted, Middleton could face up to 90 days in jail, a $250 fine or both. Fayette District Judge Joseph Bouvier is presiding over the trial.
Last summer, the woman sought an emergency protective order against Middleton, but family court Judge Kathy Stein dismissed it after concluding that there was no evidence that Middleton had stalked or spied on the woman.
In her petition, the woman said she thought Middleton “may be watching me as he has known of too many things/coincidences that he shouldn’t have.”
She said that on Aug. 2, she and a male friend were sitting on her couch when they discovered a man lying on her roof, watching them through a window. Upon being seen, the person jumped off her neighbor’s roof and drove off in a black SUV.
The woman called Middleton and police, and she said Middleton was there within seconds.
She filed a complaint with the police department the next day.
The woman said she learned after their relationship of more than a year ended that Middleton was married.
Middleton has been with the Lexington police since June 2007. Before his suspension, he was a spokesman for the police department.