Judge appointed in case where Lafayette attorney is accused of sexual battery

Statue of justice (court or lawsuit file illustration)
Statue of justice (court or lawsuit file illustration)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Indiana Supreme Court appointed Montgomery County Superior Court 1 Judge Heather Barajas to preside over a case in which Lafayette attorney Earl McCoy is accused of sexual battery.

The Supreme Court appointed Barajas on Wednesday in response to a motion filed March 16 by Tippecanoe County Superior Court 5 Judge Kristen McVey, who recused herself. McVey's motion also recused all of the other judges in Tippecanoe County. Charges were filed against McCoy on March 15.

"(McCoy) ... is a member of the local defense bar who appears regularly before each of the undersigned (judges)," McVey wrote in her motion, citing a conflict of interest.

An employee who worked for McCoy reported that she and other office staff went to a local pub May 6, 2022, for drinks. McCoy had three double bourbon and cokes, according to a probable cause affidavit.

McCoy asked the employee to let him back into the office because he forgot his keys, according to the affidavit.

Once inside, McCoy asked personal questions to the woman about her sexual past, tried to kiss her and then cornered her, grabbed her hand and tried to force it to his crotch, according to the probable cause affidavit.

McCoy is a practicing attorney in Lafayette. He ran for prosecutor in the GOP primary in 2018 and lost. Recently, he was WLFI-TV18's on-air legal analyst for the Richard Allen murder case.

McCoy hired Lafayette attorney Brian Dekker to represent him. Dekker filed a motion with the court March 17 asking that a warrant not be issued for McCoy's arrest. Instead, the motion requests that an initial hearing be set and that McCoy will attend, according to the motion.

Barajas will rule on that motion.

Reach Ron Wilkins at rwilkins@jconline.com. Follow on Twitter: @RonWilkins2.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Judge appointed in Lafayette attorney's sexual battery case