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Culpeper mayor charged with sexual battery

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region

BY DONNIE JOHNSTON / The Free Lance-Star

Culpeper Mayor Chip Coleman has been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery.

Specific details of the charge were not contained in the arrest warrant issued Tuesday. The complaint was investigated by the Virginia State Police, according to that warrant.

Coleman, 65, has come under criticism on various issues for the past year and lost the mayoral election to Mike Olinger two weeks ago.

Coleman’s attorney, Rex Edwards, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon that said: “Mr. Coleman has denied, and will enter a plea of not guilty to, the allegations of criminal behavior that have been made against him. He is anxious to confront such claims in open and public forum before an impartial and unbiased court.”

Coleman is the former head of Culpeper Human Services and retired from that agency in 2010. During his tenure, the Alexandria native brought Head Start, Families First, Full Circle Thrift, the Cosmetology Center and county daycare under the Social Services umbrella.

He served one term on the Culpeper Town Council before being elected mayor in 2010.

Donnie Johnston: djohnston@freelancestar.com

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