Judge steps down from 'celebrity trainer' harassment case - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Judge steps down from 'celebrity trainer' harassment case

Judge Dan Stidham (Source: KAIT-TV) Judge Dan Stidham (Source: KAIT-TV)
PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) -

The judge in the case of a man accused of harassing women in Paragould announced Thursday he is stepping down from the case.

Paragould police arrested and charged Travis Mims with 7 counts of harassment after they say he approached several women, claiming to be a “celebrity trainer,” and made sexually inappropriate comments.

District Judge Dan Stidham announced via Facebook that he would not hear the case due to his familiarity with some of the alleged victims.

“Members of my own family have been the victims of some similar types of alleged harassment due to my being in the midst of my re-election campaign,” Stidham stated.

The judge said that he has made “some pretty strong statements” about his daughter being harassed, adding that his wife has also been the target of harassment.

He did not identify who had harassed his family members.

“In order to avoid even the slightest appearance of any impropriety,” Stidham stated he would ask the chief justice to appoint a special judge.

Stidham said his decision should “not have any impact whatsoever” on the Mims case.

Here is Stidham’s post in its entirety:

I will not be hearing this case. I am familiar with some of the alleged victims in this matter, and members of my own family have been the victims of some similar types of alleged harassment due to my being in the midst of my re-election campaign. I have made some pretty strong statements about my daughter being harassed and my feelings with regard to such behavior by anyone. In addition to my daughter being harassed, my wife has been similarly harassed as well, and as such, I will be asking the Chief Justice to appoint a special judge to hear this case in order to avoid even the slightest appearance of any impropriety.

I don't care what anyone says about me, as I have a thick skin and have received death threats, and numerous disparaging remarks, letters, emails and texts over the years and even had my mailbox blown up by a home-made bomb, but this goes with the territory of being a judge. I think it is cowardly, however, for either my daughter, or my wife, to have to be subjected to any type of harassment merely by virtue of my being a candidate and running for re-election. I will defend them, and their honor, just as any father and husband would, and I will be looking to track down and obtain the IP addresses of the perpetrators of these sick and cowardly acts. And I will do everything in my power to find you and have you prosecuted.

But this, however, will not have any impact whatsoever on Mr. Mims or his case. He is cloaked with the presumption of innocence, as he should be, and Mr. Mims will appear before a Circuit Judge tomorrow, or on Monday. for his first appearance. I will be contacting the Chief Justice as soon as possible so that a special judge can be assigned to hear his case. I will not be making any further public statements about the harassment of my wife and daughter during this campaign, nor will I be making any further comments on Mr. Mims' matter. - Judge Dan Stidham

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