Witness harassment postpones jury trial

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Joshua L. Graves

The jury trial involving a Columbia man charged with sexual abuse was postponed and additional charges were filed following an incident that occurred shortly before his trial was set to take place Wednesday.

Joshua L. Graves, 37, now faces charges of harassment of witnesses and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.

About 30 to 45 minutes before Graves was set to stand trial at the Monroe County Courthouse on 2017 charges of aggravated criminal sex abuse involving an underage female, court information states that Graves sped recklessly directly behind a vehicle in which the victim was a passenger and her father was the driver at speeds up to 95 miles per hour, honking his horn while behind and passing the vehicle. The assault charges allege this incident placed the victim and her father in “reasonable apprehension” of being struck by a moving vehicle.

Graves, who was out on bond awaiting Wednesday’s trial, was taken into custody on the new felony charges with bond set at $150,000 (10 percent applies). He was able to post $15,000 and was released from jail.

On Sept. 3, 2017, court information states that Graves committed a sex act with a female victim that was under 13 years of age at the time. The alleged sex abuse occurred at Graves’ place of residence in the 500 block of Columbia Avenue in Columbia, police said.

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