The Thin Bue Line: West Virginia State Police Face Explosive and Perverse Misconduct Accusations
Written by: Sam Orlando
West Virginia State Police is now under scrutiny, facing allegations of abuse, harassment, and sexual misconduct that continue to escalate. Wheeling-based attorney Teresa Toriseva has issued another 30-day Notice of Forthcoming Legal Action on behalf of a group of women, citing new findings that reportedly extend beyond the previous accusations of hidden cameras.
"The environment at the state police academy is downright hostile to women," Toriseva said.
Numerous women have already expressed concerns about whether they were filmed without consent in the locker room at the West Virginia State Police Academy. Toriseva had filed a notice to sue on their behalf in late March, followed by a second notice in April upon learning that minors might also have been caught on the hidden camera.
David Moye, a Winfield Attorney, informed WOWK 13 News last week that he issued a notice of intent to sue West Virginia Attorney Patrick Morrisey and WVSP Superintendent Colonel Jack Chambers, representing five additional female plaintiffs.
Toriseva now claims that many of these women have more serious allegations. Her latest legal action notice represents 42 women, including 10 minors from the Junior Trooper Academy, and alleges a civil conspiracy.
"We're receiving reports of sexual misconduct, including inappropriate sexual relationships with instructors. We're hearing of physical assaults," Toriseva stated. "There's evidence of a cover-up, of fraud, to prevent this from becoming public, and that is also a significant issue."
Toriseva believes the hidden cameras are part of a broader problem. As her team investigated these claims, many women stepped forward, revealing additional incidents of abuse.
"Many of the things we're uncovering are stories being heard for the first time because there was a fear of reporting and a fear of career loss if reported," said Toriseva.
The West Virginia State Police are currently under multiple investigations following an anonymous five-page letter addressed to Governor Jim Justice, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and several state lawmakers. The letter detailed alleged misconduct within the organization, including sexual assaults, thefts, and damage to state-owned property, in addition to the hidden camera in the women's locker room.
Major Jim Mitchell, the media spokesperson for the West Virginia State Police, addressed the issue, stating, "We certainly understand that the investigations are of interest to many people, as they are to us... As soon as we can get to the conclusion of these investigations, we're looking forward to being able to talk about them."
For this group of women, however, they demand their own external inquiry.
"This is not something that the State Police can deal with internally. There needs to be an outside, independent, federal investigation by new players... and we really need to know what the facts and the truth were," Toriseva insisted.
She described the current environment at the West Virginia State Police Academy as hostile, calling for change to ensure the safety of women.