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Christopher Dumler's Defense Denied During Hearing on Sex Charges

November 21, 2012

Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher Dumler has no problem with police looking at text messages, emails, and Facebook messages between him and the woman accusing him of forcible sodomy. What Dumler and his attorneys don't want is police searching his personal laptop.

Defense attorney Andrea Hakes called it a "fishing expedition" and asking the court to limit the search on Dumler's computer. Charlottesville Judge Robert Downer brought into Albemarle County General District Court for this hearing, ruled against the motion, saying the laptop will stay with Albemarle County police for now.

"I'm very happy the judge agreed with us and ruled it wasn't a general warrant and refused to return the computer back to the defendant," said Special Prosecutor Jeff Haislip.

The computer was seized by police on October 18 when Dumler was arrested on a forcible sodomy charge. Defense attorney Andre Hakes asked the court to limit the search on Dumler's laptop, calling it a "fishing expedition". Court documents show concern about privileged information related to Dumler's legal practice and status as a Judge Advocate General Officer in the Army Reserve.

But prosecutors disagreed, Haislip told Judge Downer he has "received other, similar complaints related to Dumler, dating back several years" and police need access to his computer to follow up investigating those complaints. After leaving the hearing, Haislip was tight lipped on what those other complaints are.

"What was said in court was said, but I don't want to get into that right now," Haislip said.

The judge called Wednesday's hearing "premature" because search warrants for Dumler's computer haven't been filed.

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