News (USA)

Mayor blackmailed, arrested for paying for sex with man

The Associated Press couldn’t reach Fledderman for comment Wednesday. His home phone repeatedly rang unanswered and he didn’t immediately respond to an email or a phone message left at his office in Batesville, 45 miles west of Cincinnati.

Wigle-Stevens appeared in court Wednesday and was released on his own recognizance. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 16. Wigle-Stevens told The Associated Press by telephone that had no comment.

Court records do not indicate if either man has an attorney.

Police say Wigle-Stevens was diagnosed with HIV 20 years ago. The HIV status of the mayor has not been disclosed. State police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles said he could not comment beyond what appears in the probable cause affidavit.

On his website, the mayor describes Batesville as a “city committed to faith, family, education and a strong economy.” It is home to some 7,000 residents. He was elected to three four-year terms, but was defeated in the May Democratic primary by Elmer “Mike” Vonderheid.

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