Reverend Jeffrey Stallworth sued the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Governor Phil Bryant, Attorney General Jim Hood, the states of Mississippi and Maryland, and the current as well as previous governor of Maryland in U.S. District Court Friday for damages for the placement of his name on a sex offender registry, malicious prosecution, defamation, and violation of his constitutional rights.
Reverend Stallworth represents himself in the lawsuit. He stated he began dating a Maryland woman in 2000. He spent the night at her house. He claimed she
later falsely accused him of sexual improprieties for which he was indicted in 2001. However, in March 2002, in an effort to remain free and return to his home state of Mississippi, Plaintiff pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of sexual offense in the fourth degree, for which he received a suspended sentence and probation. Although he only had a misdemeanor on his record and received probation rather than jail time, the State of Maryland instructed the state of Mississippi to treat the plaintiff as a felon even though he was not a felon.
He states the form used by both states did not have a space for misdemeanor convictions but they "wrote it in". Mississippi required him to register as a sex offender when he returned home. The Prince George County District Court (MD) expunged the conviction in 2010. Reverend Stallworth asked the Hinds County Circuit Court to remove him from the sex offender registry. Judge Weill refused to do so despite the District Attorney allegedly agreeing with Reverend Stallworth's petition for removal. . The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned the lower court and ordered the state to remove his name from the registry a year ago. Earlier post with copy of opinion.
The reverend's travails did not end with the ruling. The plaintiff alleges the Mississippi Department of Public Safety "intentionally delayed removing Plaintiff's name from the sex registry." Reverend Stallworth accuses the defendants of conspiring to take his "good name, his reputation, his career and treat him as a felon and sex offender which was published throughout the nation." He also argues the defendants violated his rights under the fifth and fourteenth amendments. He also asserts his rights under Section 1983 (42 U.S.C.). He also claims damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, misrepresentation, malicious prosecution, and negligence.
The case was assigned to Judge Henry Wingate and referred to Magistrate Linda Anderson.