Ex-mayor arrested on sex charges

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

Attorney Johnnie E. Mizelle, a former Suffolk mayor and community leader, was arrested Tuesday on charges that he propositioned a client for sexual favors in exchange for legal fees and committed assault.

On Monday, the grand jury issued indictments for one count of assault and battery, and one count of solicitation for prostitution, said Suffolk police Lt. Debbie George. Mizelle, 58, was arrested at his West Washington Street law office Tuesday.


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Police report that a 43-year-old woman said she met with Mizelle on Nov. 24 and Dec. 3 when &uot;he assaulted her by groping her with his hands and suggested that she perform sexual favors in exchange for legal fees owed,&uot; said George.

When reached by phone at his office, Mizelle said he had no comment in response to his arrest. He was released on $5,000 bond from the Western Tidewater Regional Jail, and a court appearance is scheduled for February.

A special prosecutor from Newport News has been appointed to the case, said Wil Jamerson, an assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Suffolk.

Mizelle, who represented the Sleepy Hole Borough on city council, became Suffolk’s first black mayor in 1986 and served until 1990. He had served on the council from 1984 to 1986.

Anyone with additional information on this case is asked to contact Suffolk Police Detective K. R. Tabelle at 923-2159.