Taylorsville lawyer charged with sexual battery

Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation arrested a Taylorsville lawyer Tuesday after a female police officer posing as a client said he assaulted her in his office.

The agents charged Vaughn Edward Jennings, 60, with one misdemeanor count of sexual battery. A magistrate placed him under $2,000 unsecured bond and released him.

The investigation started more than two weeks ago when a woman filed a complaint with the Taylorsville Police Department, saying Jennings had assaulted her in a sexual manner in his office when she visited him for representation in a speeding ticket case, said Detective Sgt. Lisa Johnson.

Two other women filed similar complaints against Jennings over the past several weeks, Johnson said. All ranged in age from early 20s to early 30s.

On Tuesday, investigators sent a female police officer to Jennings' downtown Taylorsville office to act as a client. The officer said Jennings assaulted her, Johnson said. About an hour later, SBI agents arrested Jennings in his office.

Johnson said Jennings has practiced as a criminal defense attorney in Taylorsville for years, but that she knows of no other such complaints filed against him. Jennings also keeps a law office in Winston-Salem.

An online background check on Jennings in North Carolina showed no criminal history.

Anyone with information about the case can call the Taylorsville Police Department at 828-632-2218 or the SBI at 828-294-2226.