CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia state Sen. Mike Maroney has been charged with soliciting a prostitute.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia state Sen. Mike Maroney has been charged with soliciting a prostitute.
The Republican lawmaker turned himself in and was arraigned Wednesday morning, a Marshall County court clerk said. He has pleaded not guilty and paid a $4,500 bond.
Maroney exchanged text messages to discuss prices and set up meetings with a woman who has admitted to being a prostitute, according to a criminal complaint.  He also sent her a picture of himself smiling along with a message reading "now can I stop by" after she said she wouldn't meet without a photo of him.
Police have been investigating the woman, Cortnie Clark, and say two people have already pleaded guilty to soliciting her for sex. She has been criminally charged and has told police she became a prostitute so she could buy heroin, according to the complaint. Her attorney didn't immediately return a message left at his office.
Authorities found used condoms, uncapped hypodermic needles and "an unimaginable amount" of human feces and urine throughout Clark's house. Before one of their meetings, she told Maroney her house was messy and he replied he didn't care about a mess, the complaint said.
Maroney, 51, did not return a voicemail left on his cellphone. His lawyer, Paul Harris, didn't immediately return a message left at his office.
West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael issued a statement saying the allegations are "deeply disturbing" and that further statements would be released as the case continues.
Belinda Biafore, the chairwoman of the state Democratic party, is calling for Maroney to be removed from the Senate.
Maroney is the chairman of the Senate committee on health and human resources.


Man sentenced for wounding W.Va. trooper, choking woman
HAMLIN, W.Va. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to up to 25 years in prison for wounding a West Virginia state trooper with gunfire and choking a woman.
WCHS-TV reports 42-year-old Jeremiah Yeager received the maximum sentence Wednesday in Lincoln County Circuit Court.
Sgt. David Fry was shot in the shoulder and wrist last year when he tried to enter an apartment in Alum Creek to intervene in a domestic situation. A woman testified Wednesday that Yeager pistol-whipped her and choked her until she passed out.
Yeager pleaded no contest in June to two counts of malicious wounding and one count of strangulation.

1,079 to lose jobs when West Virginia, Ohio hospitals close
WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Notices filed in West Virginia and Ohio reveal that 1,079 workers will lose their jobs when two hospitals are closed this fall.
The Intelligencer reports Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filings indicate 736 workers will lose their jobs at Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, West Virginia, and 343 more will lose their jobs when East Ohio Regional Hospital closes in Martins Ferry, Ohio. The notices are legally required ahead of mass layoffs.
California-based Alecto Healthcare Services owns the hospitals and announced this month they'd close as early as Oct. 7.
The newspaper says the closures are expected to leave medical and economic holes across state lines. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. David McKinley have pledged to fill the gaps, but replacements haven't been identified.


3rd lawsuit filed against WVa doctor accused of misconduct
BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A woman is accusing a West Virginia doctor of raping her and secretly recording the attack three years ago.
The Register-Herald reports the lawsuit filed Monday accuses Dr. Zouhair Kabbara of raping the plaintiff when she was a high school senior in 2016 and recording the attack without her knowledge.
Two other lawsuits filed last week accuse Kabbara of sexually abusing a patient and sexually harassing a 16-year-old.
The newest lawsuit says Kabbara invited the teen to an art show, then groped her despite her protests. It says Kabbara took her to his home and "roughly sexually assaulted" her twice before making her wash away physical evidence.
The state police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is investigating. The paper says the doctor didn't respond to two requests for comment.