5 lawsuits against ex-West Virginia state trooper settled

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Documents show five lawsuits against a former West Virginia state trooper have been settled for $780,000, with half of that sum involving a woman who accused him of sexual assault.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the lawsuits were settled against Trooper Ralph Justus.

Four lawsuits accused Justus of using excessive force during alleged incidents at the Welch detachment. No criminal charges were filed against him.

Records show the alleged sexual assault occurred in March 2017. Justus was placed on paid administrative leave three days later and he remained on leave until his resignation last April.

According to the woman’s lawsuit, the alleged assault occurred after Justus entered a home in McDowell County to arrest her boyfriend.

State Police spokesman Capt. Reginald Patterson says the state’s insurance carrier settled the woman’s lawsuit to avoid a costly trial.

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