A Brownstown man was arrested in June after allegedly groping a dispatcher while she was on duty at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
Taylor A. McElfresh, 21, pleaded guilty to battery, a Class B misdemeanor, on Tuesday in Jackson Superior Court I in connection with the incident.
Judge AmyMarie Travis sentenced McElfresh to 180 days suspended as part of his plea agreement. He was placed on probation for 180 days.
According to the probable cause affidavit, signed by county Officer Jordan Hawn, McElfresh initially was issued an arrest warrant for sexual battery and battery. He also was ordered to pay $185 in court costs.
Hawn wrote in the probable cause affidavit that on June 3 at approximately 10:15 p.m., he was contacted by a Jackson County dispatcher who said she had been touched inappropriately while working in the dispatch center.
At approximately 10 p.m. that day, the dispatcher told Hawn that McElfresh came into the dispatch center with three other people to visit a relative who worked in the center.
The dispatcher said she was sitting at her work station when McElfresh stood close to her.
She said she looked up at McElfresh and asked him what he was doing, and he reached out and grabbed her breast.
In response, the dispatcher told McElfresh that was sexual harassment. She told Hawn that McElfresh laughed at the situation along with his friends and the relative he was visiting.
Hawn said the dispatcher told him she was shocked at what happened and played along as if it was a joke, then immediately contacted him after everyone left.
The dispatcher told Hawn she did not know McElfresh very well, and she never did anything to make him believe it was OK to touch her like that.
At the time, the dispatcher said she didn’t want to pursue charges, and she didn’t feel safe if McElfresh was going to come into the dispatch center.
Hawn later located and interviewed McElfresh at his home in Brownstown.
McElfresh said nothing had happened between him and the dispatcher when Hawn asked about the allegations.
Hawn said he was informed about the dispatcher being touched inappropriately, and McElfresh said he was just joking around when he touched her.
Hawn also told McElfresh that touching people was not a joking matter, and he was no longer permitted in the dispatch center. McElfresh said he understood.
Hawn said he returned to the dispatch center and informed jail staff and dispatchers who were on duty that until further notice from Sheriff Rick Meyer or Chief Deputy Dustin Steward, personal visitors weren’t allowed in the dispatch center for any reason.
On June 6, Hawn said he was contacted by the dispatcher, who said she wanted to pursue charges against McElfresh.
As part of the investigation, Hawn said he viewed video footage, and it showed McElfresh walking up to the dispatcher and grabbing her breast just as she described it to him.