New Details Emerging In The Sexual Harassment Case Against A Franklin County Judge, Executive Director


Explosive allegations of sexual harassment rock the Franklin County courthouse, as new details emerge in accusations against a judge and the court's Executive Director.

The accusations first emerged Friday with the resignation of Court Executive Director Atiba Jones.

But Tuesday, 10TV obtained the very detailed and highly graphic complaint alleging sexual harassment by Judge Timothy Horton and inaction by Jones.

The 26 year old accuser, Elise Wyant, started at the courthouse as Judge Horton's secretary, and was later promoted to his bailiff.  Earlier this year, she says she had a sexual relationship with Atiba Jones, as she was fending off sexual advances by her boss, Judge Horton.  Wyant writes during her first week of work, Judge Tim Horton took her out for Happy Hour almost every day.

Judge Tim Horton

She says "he would constantly make comments suggesting she let him (have sex with) her."  She alleges "he would discuss in detail what positions."  She also says he and a Deputy "touched me and my friends in inappropriate ways."

She describes an incident leaving a restaurant when "Horton grabbed the elastic waistband on my skirt and pulled it away from my body about six inches. He then let go and smiled at me. I was so shocked I did not know what to do."  She says "he would frequently call me into his office to tell me about his sexual encounters with females other than his wife."

Her complaint includes copies of text messages allegedly sent by Horton. They tell her "U look absolutely sensational!"  Another says "U + E are smokin' 2nite...smokin!!"  In another, he allegedly texted, "Hey sexy."

During some of this same period, Wyant says she was dating the Court's Executive Director, Atiba Jones.  She says she was unaware that Jones was married while they were involved. 

She claims she told Jones of Horton's harassment, submitting as evidence this text message to Jones about Horton:  "I had to ditch him. He was getting to (sic) wild...He was making me uncomfortable with comments and touching."  To which Jones allegedly responds: "That's not ok?"

In another text exchange, she seeks Jones' advice about Horton, saying Horton took her to the Memorial Tournament and became angry when she refused to go to dinner with him after.

Jones allegedly texts back, "Just understand why you are where you's all about loyalty. That will take you far. He moved you to the top of the list. Now you have to regain his trust."  Jones also replies, "This is a good lesson for life. Men are very similar in this."

Jones and Horton have both released statements denying Wyant's claims.

Jones says "I admit that I made a huge error in judgment in my relationship with Ms. Wyant. While I consider this a poor decision on my part, I do not consider it a violation of any court policy. The claims that Ms. Wyant informed me of all these accusations against Judge Horton and that I did nothing or in some manner covered things up is not true."

Judge Horton has hired an attorney, who says "Horton categorically denies ever sexually harassing Ms. Wyant."

Wyant also accuses Horton of ordering her to do campaign work on court time- a violation of Election law.  Horton also denies this.

Horton is on Tuesday’s ballot, running unopposed for the Franklin County Court of Appeals