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ONLY ON 3: Belville mayor charged with sexual battery

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Belville mayor charged with sexual battery
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The mayor of one Brunswick County town is out of jail after being arrested this afternoon for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman at his home. This is not the first time Belville's mayor has been publicly reprimanded recently for his actions.

Deputies arrested Belville Mayor Jack Batson today after a woman told the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office Batson touched her inappropriately at his home.

According to the arrest warrant, the victim said Batson put his hand under her shirt and touched her breast over the weekend.

The sheriff's office says the victim originally filed a report that the 70-year-old pushed her on to a bed and grabbed her at his home. After investigating, the sheriff's office found that the incident was not a felony and had the victim file a warrant with the magistrate.

Deputies arrested Batson Wednesday afternoon for sexual battery. The mayor left jail under a $2,500 unsecured bond.

We tried to catch up with batson as he left jail, but he said he had no comment at the time, but would possibly talk after "I get my head together."

Last month the Belville Town Council censured Batson for his relationship with a town employee. The censure said although Batson was not physically involved with the woman, the relationship was distracting and unprofessional.

We tried to speak with Belville Council members Wednesday about Batson's arrest. We got in touch with a few members, including Mayor Pro Tem Mike Allen. Most members we spoke with said it was they first they were hearing of the arrest, and they did not want to make a comment until they had more information.

Councilwoman Donna Schardien says she does not know all the details but she thinks politics, not truth, may be behind the allegations. "We've got an election coming in November and for someone who wants to get back in the council, there seems to be a lot of character assassination going on," Schardien said. "The mayor may have been set up. I believe it may be a witch hunt."

The Brunswick County Court Clerk's office says Batson should be in court tomorrow for his first appearance.

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