News 12 at 6 o' clock/ May 2, 2014
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- A Columbia County magistrate judge has resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Several women are accusing Nelson of handling cases inappropriately. Judge Nelson resigned Thursday after a conversation with Chief Magistrate Judge Jason Troiano.
We've uncovered at least two reports in two different counties alleging sexual misconduct. Along with those reports, we've also had other women under his case load come forward with similar stories.
A mother of five who lost full custody of her nine year old spoke with us. She says her problems started soon after Doug Nelson was assigned to her custody case.
"He came out to the home. Everything was good and he said the home was fine the child was fine. Excellent grades, good attendance.
She says he was too flirtatious for a person in his position.
"When we were at McDonald's meeting, he would tell me I was a very attractive woman," she recalls.
But, she says things changed a few weeks later when he came to her house for a site visit.
"He made the statement that he would marry me when this is over. Well, I brushed it off and when he found out I got married, he did a complete 360 in court against me. All of a sudden, I became unstable and an unfit mother."
Judge Nelson has been a magistrate judge in Columbia County since 2007, but the clerk of courts office says they don't have any complaints on file for him.
But, the complaints are rolling in now. In an incident report filed by a woman in Columbia county, the victim states Nelson "stroked her back making her feel uncomfortable."
In Richmond County, a mother filed a report, saying Nelson "ran his hands up and down her hands, arms, back, and buttocks without her permission," and states he said, "You take care of me, and I'll take care of you."
Judge Troiano has referred the case to the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission. Depending what they find in their investigation, cases could be reopened.