Judge steps down from 'celebrity trainer' harassment case

Judge steps down from 'celebrity trainer' harassment case

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.

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