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Attorney general moves Atlantic County case to avoid conflict

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An Atlantic County criminal case was moved to Cape May County following allegations of a conflict.
Anthony Hargrove is accused of having sex with two men without disclosing he was HIV positive.
The Attorney General’s Office recently reassigned the case “to avoid any potential conflict or appearance of conflict,” spokesman Peter Aseltine said.
But what led to the move is a point of contention.
In a statement to BreakingAC, the spokeswoman for the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said it was “at the request of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office,” and involved all cases pertaining to one of the victims, even if he’s a defendant.
But the victim claims that is not true.
"The prosecutor adamantly refused to step aside, so I requested the attorney general supersede his office due to clear conflicts," the victim told BreakingAC.
The response from the Prosecutor's Office named the victim, whose identity previously was not released due to the sexual nature of the alleged crime.
The victim, who BreakingAC is not naming, sent a complaint to the Attorney General's Office in light of his identity being released.
Emails and audio recordings provided to this news site offer a timeline in the case and indicate the victim had numerous conversations with staff from the Attorney General's Office and Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office about his concerns.
In August, he sent a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office claiming that Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner and Victim Witness Coordinator Raymond Royster should not be involved in the case due to a personal relationship with Hargrove’s family.
In it, he claimed that Hargrove “and his family continue to threaten to have their personal friend, Prosecutor Damon Tyner ‘get back at the victim and handle him.’”
The victim also notes that the Fellowship of Churches held a rally in January to support Tyner after three women who worked for him made allegations, including claims of mortgage fraud and sex discrimination.
The announcement of the “rally to support Prosecutor Tyner” was approved by the fellowship’s president, Anthony Hargrove's father, according to an email the fellowship’s secretary sent to its members.
Tyner’s office did not respond beyond the written statement, which was accompanied by a phone call from spokeswoman Donna Weaver asking that it be made clear that the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office requested that the attorney general step in.
She said the office would not comment further. Follow-up questions in emails received no response.


Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Sunday, June 16, 2024
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