The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 23, 2013

Deputy lawsuit settlement reached

By Carra Higgins
Register-Herald Reporter

— A civil rights lawsuit alleging that a former Greenbrier County sheriff’s deputy had sex with a 16-year-old while “on duty” has been settled for $100,000 and dismissed with prejudice by U.S. District Court Judge Irene Berger.

Berger dismissed the suit against former deputy Chris Baker, in his personal capacity, after mediation between the defendant, his attorneys, the accuser and her attorneys, according to court documents.

Michael O. Callaghan, a Charleston-based lawyer with Neely & Callaghan, filed the civil lawsuit against Baker on behalf of the accuser and her guardian in July 2010.  

The original complaint stated that Baker was in a position of trust at the time the minor had sex with him on “multiple occasions” during the summer of 2009.

The complaint also charged that then-Sheriff Roger Sheppard knew that Baker had been sued privately for actions as an alleged “peeping Tom” before hiring him as a deputy. Sheppard was also named as a defendant in the suit against Baker.

In the complaint, the plaintiff was seeking damages for “suffered trauma, severe emotional distress and other damages.”

The $100,000 agreement is without pre or post judgment interest, court documents say.

Baker was represented by George Joseph and Billie Joe Streyle, with Bailey and Wyant in Charleston.