Assault Case Against Charlottesville Blogger Moving Forward

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Prosecutors are moving ahead with an assault case against a local blogger.

Jason Kessler is charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, stemming from an incident that occurred Sunday, January 22, on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall.

At the time of the incident, the blogger was collecting signatures for a petition to have Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy removed from office.

James Justin Taylor says he approached Kessler to read the petition, saw it was about Bellamy, and called the blogger an [expletive]. Taylor claims Kessler responded by punching him in the face.

Kessler filed an assault charge against Taylor, arguing that he acted in self-defense. In his criminal complaint, Kessler says Taylor, “grabbed the petition and my arm violently” and screamed curse words right into his face.

A court document filed by the prosecution states, "The events of this alleged assault are entirely captured on a camera system mounted on a business adjacent to the event." The document goes on to say, "the events described by the complaining witness [Kessler] in his criminal complaint did not happen."

Friday, March 3, the judge granted the prosecution's motion to dismiss the case against Taylor.

Kessler is scheduled to be in Charlottesville General District Court on April 6.

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