Sexual assault trial of former Marshall student continues

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Editor’s Note: Some of the details or sound bytes you’ll hear in this story are graphic.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m. Aug. 12, 2020: HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) Today marked was day two of the 2018 double sexual assault trial of Joseph Chase Hardin.

The 14 person jury heard from one of the reporters and two other witnesses. 13 News reporter Natalie Wadas is in front of the courthouse covering the event.

Today’s day in court was markedly more emotional than yesterday.

We heard the order of events laid out by the first victim, and tearful rejoinder from friends of the victim to whom she had confided.

The first victim took the stand in the morning, where she laid out her version of events. She described a date with harden for bible study to a sexual assault she wanted no part of

She also said she only went to police to file charges after she was convinced to do so by a bible study teacher.

The defense countered that without photographic evidence, one could not be sure.

Two character witnesses took the stand this afternoon both members of a ministry group the victim was a part of.

They largely attested to her ‘Christian’ character, while the defense pulled salacious text messages between the defense and victim to try to counter the argument.

The trial will resume tomorrow and more witnesses are expected to testify.


UPDATE, AUG. 12: One of Hardin’s alleged victims took the stand today, describing in graphic detail the events of what was supposed to be a date.

The alleged victim told the jury after she met Hardin at Ritter Park for a Bible study session, he convinced her to get in his car and “drive around.” She said they ultimately ended up at the Huntington Museum of Art where the alleged assault took place.

She says it was not consensual sex as Hardin claims and she ended up contacting the police after talking about the incident with a Bible counselor.

The second alleged victim is also scheduled to testify today.


HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) The sexual assault trial of a former Marshall University student continues today in Cabell County Court.

13 News Reporter Shannon Litton joins us live in Huntington with the details.

Joseph Chase Hardin is accused of sexually assaulting two 18-year-old women back in 2018 while he was a Marshall student and we’re expecting to hear more from his accusers on the witness stand today.

Yesterday, jurors heard some testimony from one of Hardin’s accusers.

She says she met Hardin at church and communicated back and forth with him via text and Snapchat.

She did not get into the details of the alleged assault that’s expected to happen today.

Hardin sat through yesterday afternoon’s testimony with no visible reaction to what his accuser said.

Both the prosecution and defense made their open arguments as well.

“Things changed rather rapidly and abruptly, from the defendant and (muted) doing consensual sexual acts to something that (muted) didn’t consent to, to something that the defendant forced upon her.”

Cabell County prosecutor

“They both voluntarily, admittedly, consensually take off all their clothes. They both admittedly, consually, voluntarily get in the back of the seat.”

Hardin’s defense attorney

Hardin is charged with four counts of second degreee sexual assault and his trial will continue at 9 a.m.

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