UPDATE: Elschlager indicted by federal grand jury

MARIETTA, Ohio - UPDATE: 5/26/17 4:15 P.M.

A federal grand jury in Columbus has returned a two-count indictment against the former commander of the Marietta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The indictment returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Columbus charges William Elschlager, 48, with cyberstalking and deprivation of rights under color of law.

According to Count 1 of the indictment, Elschlager allegedly used electronic communication devices to harass, intimidate and surveil his former girlfriend. The crimes are alleged to have taken place between Nov. 23, 2015, and Jan. 17, 2016.

Count two alleges that Elschlager conducted an unlawful traffic stop after tracking her location by using an unauthorized GPS device placed on her vehicle.

Elschlager was arrested on May 17 in Washington County and arraigned the following day in federal court in Columbus..

He was released on his own recognizance after his arraignment in federal court.

Elschlager previously faced charges in Washington County Common Pleas Court related to the stalking accusations and for allegedly using a law-enforcement database to obtain information about women who he pulled over during traffic stops.

All of those charges were dropped prior to his arrest on federal charges.

However, he is still facing one count of tampering with records, and six counts of theft, in Delaware County, where he served as a Highway Patrol sergeant. He was indicted on those charges in May 2016.


UPDATE: 5/18/17, 3:58 P.M.

Former Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta Post Commander William Elschlager is now accused of two crimes in U.S. federal court.

According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Elschlager is charged with one count of cyberstalking and one count of deprivation of rights under code of law.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio will now pursue an indictment against Elschlager.

The charges filed May 18 involve Elschlager's alleged affair with a trooper's wife whom allegedly stalked after she broke off their relationship. That affair allegedly began in April 2015 and ended in October 2015.

They also involve Eschlager's alleged use of a a law-enforcement data base to obtain information about women whom he pulled over during traffic stops.

Elschlager was previously was indicted on charges related to these accusations in Washington County Common Pleas Court. However, the last of those charges - 10 counts of unauthorized use of a law-enforcement database - were dropped on Monday.

In April, an eight-count indictment against Elschlager also was dismissed.

Those charges came after Elschlager was accused of having the affair with the trooper's wife and then stalking her once the affair ended.

In addition, Elschlager also is still facing one count of tampering with records, and six counts of theft, in Delaware County. He was indicted on those charges in May 2016.

He previously served in Delaware County as a State Highway Patrol sergeant.


UPDATE: 5/17/17 8:45PM

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks confirms William Elschlager, a former Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta Post Commander, was arrested Wednesday evening on a federal warrant.

Mincks says Elschlager is facing several federal charges but did not specify what they are.

He is currently being held in the Washington County Jail after being pulled over during a traffic stop around 6PM in Devola. He will be transported to Columbus by Washington County Deputies and will be handed over to the FBI.

The United States Attorney for the Southern district of Ohio authorized the charges and will be available for questions tomorrow in Columbus.

We plan to have a reporter there to ask questions and will bring you more information when it becomes available.

His arrest comes just two days after his charges were dropped in Washington County. However, he still faces several charges in Delaware County, Ohio.


UPDATE: 05/17/2017, 6:32 P.M.

On Monday charges against William Elschlager were dropped in a Washington County Courtroom, but he's still not off the hook.

The former Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta post commander is still facing one count of tampering with records, and six counts of theft, in Delaware County.

Elschlager was indicted for those charges on May 6, 2016.

He previously served in Delaware County as an Ohio State Highway patrol sergeant.

In September 2016, Elschlager appealed a motion that was denied.

A Court of Appeals for the district covering Delaware County met for an oral hearing on April 13, 2017, to discuss the case.

We’re waiting on the opinion of that hearing, to see if Elschlager will go to trial for allegedly stealing guns from evidence that was reported to be destroyed.


UPDATE: 05/15/2017 11:15 A.M.

Charges against a former Ohio State Highway Patrol post commander in Marietta have been dropped

William Elschlager had been scheduled to go on trial Monday morning in Washington County Common Pleas Court on 10 counts of unauthorized use of a law enforcement database.

Representatives from Judge Mark Kerenyi's office and the Washington County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Rings' office says those charges were dropped but that they could be refiled.

The charges were filed after investigators discovered that Elschlager allegedly took screen shots of names, birthdays, and other personal information of 10 women he pulled over during traffic stops.

In April, an eight-count indictment against Elschlager also was dismissed.

Those charges came after Elschlager was accused of having an affair with a trooper's wife and then stalking her once the affair ended.

We'll have more updates on this developing story as they become available.


UPDATE: 04/11/2017 11:55 A.M.

There has been another delay in the criminal trial of a former Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta Post Commander.

The trial of William Elschlager was set to begin on Monday but that was put on hold until May 15.

That's when Elschlager is now scheduled to stand trial on 10 counts of unauthorized use of a law-enforcement database.

Those charges were filed after investigators discovered that Elschlager allegedly took screen shots of names, birthdays, and other personal information of 10 women he pulled over during traffic stops.

Also on Monday, Washington County Proseucting Attorney Kevin Rings motion to have an eight-count indictment dismissed was granted by Judge Mark Kerenyi.

Those charges came after Elschlager was accused of having an affair with a trooper's wife and then stalking her once the affair ended.

Because those charges have been dismissed, Rings says Elschlager's home confinement, which was a condition of the bond for those charges, has been removed.

Elschlager also has been ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim in that case.

Rings says those charges could be refiled "depending on what happens in the next six weeks to two months."


UPDATE: 02/08/2017 10:40 P.M.

A new trial date has been set for a former Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta Post commander.

According to the office of Washington County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Rings, Elschlager's trial is scheduled to begin on April 10.

He is facing charges of stealing firearms, abduction, criminal mischief, theft, criminal trespassing and menacing by stalking. Those charges were filed after he allegedly was stalking a trooper's wife after she had ended their months-long affair.

Elschlager also has been charged with stealing guns that were filed in evidence when he was working in Delaware County.

In addition, he was charged with ten counts of unauthorized use of the law-enforcement-database system after investigators allegedly found screen shots of names, birthdays, and social security numbers of ten women he pulled over for a traffic stop.

His trial in Washington County Common Pleas Court had been scheduled for January but was continued.


UPDATE 1/20/2017 5:30 P.M.

A motion has been made to continue William Elschlager's trial date again, but that motion has not yet been granted.

The reason for the request in the delay: Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings will be involved in another trial beginning Monday, but it isn't known whether that trial will be over before the scheduled Elschlager trial on Wednesday.


UPDATE 10/5/2016 5:40 PM

William Elschlager is now facing ten new charges of unauthorized use of the law enforcement database system.

This comes after investigators allegedly found screen shots of names, birthdays, and social security numbers of ten women he pulled over for a traffic stop.

The system is only to be used for law-enforcement purposes, and information should never be copied.

He already faces charges of stalking and allegedly stealing firearms, after a trooper's wife ended their months-long affair.

He was expected to go to trial this month, but now it's been pushed back to January given the new charges.


UPDATE 9/22/2016 12:55 PM

The former Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta Post Commander appeared in court yesterday.

William Elschlager is facing charges of stealing firearms, abduction, criminal mischief, theft, criminal trespassing and menacing by stalking.

He was allegedly stalking a trooper's wife after she had ended their months-long affair.

Even more recently, Elschlager has been charged with stealing guns that were filed in evidence when he was working in Delaware County.

Two guns were found in his home.

Wednesday's hearing concerned using those guns as evidence.

Elschlager's attorney, George Cosenza, asked the court to suppress one of the firearms, which is a decision that was also made in Delaware County Court.

That request was granted and agreed upon between all parties.

The trial date is set for October 19, however, Cosenza says he plans to file a motion to continue that.

Elschlager was also served paperwork Wednesday with additional felony charges not related to this case.


UPDATE 6/7/2016 11:06 a.m.

Marietta, Ohio (AP) - Former Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta Post Commander William Elschlager has pleaded not guilty to charges of abduction, criminal trespassing, menacing by stalking, and receiving stolen property.

Elschlager was indicted on those charges stemming from an alleged affair with a trooper's wife. He was fired from the Marietta Patrol Post when the allegations surfaced.

He is currently out of jail on a $25,000 bond. He remains on home confinement. He'll head to trial August 3rd.

Elschlager was also indicted on charges related to theft of weapons from the Patrol Post in Delaware County, Ohio.


Update 6/1/2016 11:20 am

A former Ohio State Highway Patrol post commander is indicted on multiple charges.

A Washington County grand jury indicts William Elschlager on eight counts.

His charges include receiving stolen property, abduction, criminal mischief, theft, criminal trespass and menacing by stalking.

Elschlager's accused of having an affair with a trooper's wife, then stalking her once the affair ended.

Authorities say he stole personal items from her car and put a GPS on her car to track her whereabouts.


UPDATE 4/1/2016 3:20 PM

Former Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta Post Commander, William Elschlager, appears in court Friday, motioning to amend his bond.

Elschlager was arrested in January for menacing by stalking and abduction, and has since been on home confinement.

With that confinement he is not able to leave his home, meaning he is not able to work.

Elschlager's attorney, George Consenza, is motioning to amend his bond because Elschlager has secured a job in Williamstown working for his uncle.

Cosenza says there is no reason why Elschlager should not be allowed to work and earn a living.

Washington County Prosecuting Attorney, Kevin Rings, says it's not a good idea because the victim in this case would not feel safe.

"I did speak with the victim over the phone. She did indicate that she was opposed to this, that she described it as it would be terrifying to her if she thought he was out, in a car, and not being monitored in any way," says Rings.

The defense and prosecution went back and forth discussing allegations of Elschlager stalking the victim and the lengths he went to do so.

After an hour of discussion, Judge Lane did not reach a conclusion and the hearing has been continued to next week.


UPDATE 1/19/2016 5:30 PM

The Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta Post Leader, Lieutenant William Elschlager was arraigned Tuesday on one count of menacing by stalking, a felony of the fourth degree, and one count of abduction, a felony of the third degree.

Officials say this comes after he had an affair with one of his trooper's wives back in April, which ended in August.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office searched his home Sunday and arrested him there.

They also searched both of his lockers at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta Post.

Officials believe Elschlager began stalking the woman after the affair ended.

"Those facts, judge, are that, first of all, the defendant was tracking this young lady by surreptitiously placing a GPS unit on her vehicle and was able to track her movement without her knowledge for quite some period of time. Second, and perhaps more disturbing, during the course of Sunday's investigation law enforcement uncovered a firearm that was in a Highway Patrol evidence bag in the defendant's possession," says Washington County Prosecutor, Kevin Rings.

The victim told officials that Elschlager pulled her over several times in uniform just to talk to her.

Sheriff Larry Mincks says this case is still under investigation.

The victim filed a protection order against William Elschlager that he must abide.

The court issued a $25,000 bond and Elschlager must wear a GPS tracking bracelet.

He is on administrative leave from his job and will appear in court for his preliminary hearing next week.

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP)- New Sunday, the arrest of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Marietta Post Leader, Lieutenant William Elschlager.

He has been charged with one count of menacing by stalking, a felony of the fourth degree, and one count of abduction, a felony of the third degree. This comes after he had an affair with one of his trooper's wives back in April, which ended in August.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office searched his home on Masonic Park Drive in Devola at 2PM Sunday and arrested him there. They also searched both of his lockers at his place of employment at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Office in Marietta on Route 7.

Officials believe William Eschlager began stalking the wife of a former trooper after their affair ended. He is accused of stealing personal items from her car, stalking her at her residence, and even putting a GPS on her car to track her whereabouts.

The victim claims Elschlager pulled her over multiple times just to talk to her, and that one evening he showed up at her house throwing Christmas gifts at her door. She also claims he showed up at her house on the 6th of January wearing all black begging to talk to her. She says he left after she yelled at him to leave.

"On one occasion her stopped her in his patrol car, went up to the vehicle and pleaded with her to come back with him. this investigation is only in the beginning stages and we anticipate quite a bit more work that we're going to have to do to clear up everything," said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.

This is not the first time Elschlager had a run in with the law. He was arrested back in 2007 for an assault on his then girlfriend.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says he may face additional charges following the continued investigation.

For now, he remains at the Washington County Jail pending a hearing in Marietta Municipal Court Tuesday morning. He is on administrative leave from his job.



 
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