Witnesses testify in Joseph Chase Hardin hearing


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – A man accused of sexually assaulting two women while on probation was back in court today facing the loss of that probation.

Tuesday’s hearing for former Marshall University student Joseph Chase Hardin was not for the alleged sexual assault charges against the 22-year-old. Instead, today’s hearing was to see whether or not his probation, for a battery charge he plead guilty to in 2017, would be revoked.

Hardin sat quietly as a detective with the Huntington Police Department testified about Hardin’s alleged sexual assaults of two women in late 2018.

“She stated she wanted him to stop; she tried to push him off,” Detective Ted Backus testified. “She stated at one point he was on top of her and he grabbed her hands and held on to her hands above her head.”

The alleged sexual assaults, revealed in June, would be a violation of Hardin’s three-year probation for the battery he plead guilty to in 2017..

Judge Ferguson heard about more than these alleged violations. Hardin’s probation officer also testified Hardin violated his probation by consuming alcohol and failing to report a change of employment.

Hardin’s sister testified she was friends with one of the alleged victim’s before and after the incident. She testified the alleged victim never said anything to her about it and wasn’t aware of anything until the victim posted it on social media. 

“June 10th, when she posted it on Twitter,” Olivia Hardin testified.

The judge also heard from one of the two women now accusing Hardin of sexual assault. 13 News is not identifying her, but she testified she didn’t want to have sex with Hardin, which he claims was consensual. The alleged victim admitted they talked and texted after the alleged incident.

“He reached over and pulled me on top of him and started kissing me and I was okay with that,” the victim testified. “I didn’t think kissing was a big deal and then he tried to stick his hands in my pants and I was like, ‘No, Chase, stop. I don’t want to do this.'”

The victim testified she didn’t come forward sooner because she was – in her words – in “denial” of the incident, something the investigating detective says in common in cases like this.

Another victim, as well as Hardin, are expected to testify when the hearing continues July 26.

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