- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

MARIETTA, Ohio (AP) - The lawyer for a highway patrol commander accused of stalking a subordinate’s wife after an affair raised questions in court about the woman’s credibility when she acknowledged continuing to have contact with him, including taking a cruise together to the Caribbean.

Lt. William Elschlager of the Marietta, Ohio, post is charged with menacing by stalking and an abduction count related to allegations that he used a patrol vehicle to stop the woman for speeding. Elschlager, an unmarried, 19-year patrol veteran, hasn’t entered a plea.

His case advanced Thursday to Washington County court for possible consideration by a grand jury after the woman testified in municipal court.

She said that after the affair ended in August, Elschlager called her dozens of times a day and repeatedly showed up uninvited, making her feel unsafe, The Marietta Times (https://bit.ly/1P1TU9k ) reported. She said he didn’t heed her demands to be left alone.

But under questioning by Elschlager’s defense attorney, she acknowledged that she took a Caribbean cruise with him in September, accepted concert tickets from him in November and got his help paying for Christmas gifts for her child.

His attorney, George Cosenza, said the woman claiming to be scared of Elschlager had hugged him in thanks for favors. Cosenza said that apparent contradiction should raise questions about her credibility.

She said she knew she couldn’t pay him back for the cruise, so she went, the newspaper reported.

Elschlager has been on home confinement under electronic monitoring. The State Highway Patrol said he’ll be on paid administrative leave while it investigates whether he violated work rules.

Records show the patrol had previously fired Elschlager after he was accused in a misdemeanor domestic violence case involving a girlfriend, but he wasn’t indicted due to lack of evidence, the newspaper reported.

The union filed a grievance and an arbitrator gave him back his job, warning that it was a “last chance opportunity” for him with the patrol. He subsequently received good performance reviews and became Marietta commander in July.

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Information from: The Marietta Times, https://www.mariettatimes.com

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