Three women testified against former Mount Carmel Vice-Mayor William Blakely, graphically recounting times he exposed himself while driving. News Channel 11 had the only reporter in court for Thursday's preliminary hearing in Kingsport.
"I was scared that I was gonna wreck, he was gonna cause me to wreck," witness Deborah Sturgill said.
"It seems that every victim would tell the same story. But I knew all the victims did not know each other," Kingsport Police Detective Terry Christian said.
Personal accounts in Thursday's testimonies started the same - Blakely allegedly waving to get the drivers' attention, then escalating to honking and partially crossing over into the drivers lane.
"Waving, grabbed his shirt, kind of pulled it up," witness Deanna Dykes said.
"After the waving, it turned into a lot of beeping, him grabbing his chest area, and asking me going 'please, please' (clasping hands together) with his hands, may I... show me yours," witness Kelly Street said.
Each witness testified they were fearful Blakely's driving would cause an accident.
"He was taking his hand, wetting his mouth, and masturbating," Sturgill said.
"At over 90 miles per hour, he had his penis out [the window]... he was masturbating... and that's when it got really, really bad. I wouldn't look over any more, and I wrote his tag number down on my hand, which I believe he noticed, and he exited very quickly," Street said.
Detective Terry Christian says it's Street's writing down of the license tag number that served as a catalyst for William Blakely's charges.
"It went on for so long an nobody's addressed it," Christian said, referring to the dozens of phone calls the department has received over the course of three or four years - she said, related to Blakely's behavior. Ages of the alleged victims range from 16-65.
Christian says Thursday marked a turning point, when three women, out of what's said to be many more - conquering fear and embarrassment.
"It's important to make that report because if you don't, they're gonna feel that they can continue that offense and continue victimizing more females. And that might be your best friend, your daughter, your mother, your aunt, your niece. And you need to make that report because that's what's going to eventually stop that type of behavior," Christian said.
Blakely is facing charges of indecent and reckless endangerment, and criminal attempt to commit aggravated assault with regards to the first two testimonies today. Charges for the case involving the third witness were dropped to reckless driving. Judge Toohey bound the two cases seen today over to a Sullivan County Grand Jury - scheduled for June 14.
Detective Christian tells News Channel 11 several more cases involving Blakely are getting ready to be presented to a grand jury.
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