Hocking County Attorney Charged with Sexual Battery

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A defense attorney currently running for the prosecutor’s seat in Hocking County is being investigated for sex crimes.

According to the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, Jason Sarver, 36, was arrested in Hocking County on Wednesday on two counts of sexual battery.

Jason A. Sarver
Jason A. Sarver

Athens County Prosecuting Attorney Keller Blackburn was appointed as special prosecutor on the case.

According to a news release from Blackburn’s office, “Sarver, a criminal defense attorney who handles court-appointed cases in Hocking County, Ohio, is alleged to have engaged in sexual conduct with a court appointed client on more than one occasion.”

Blackburn told WOUB he was contacted by law enforcement in early February, after law enforcement received information and began an investigation.

Blackburn did not release any information about the victim or the circumstances of the alleged sexual battery. He did say Sarver served as a public defender, an attorney assigned to clients who are determined by the court to be unable to pay for legal representation.

Sarver, who is currently running on the Republican ticket for election as Hocking County Prosecuting Attorney, appeared before Visiting Judge Teresa Liston of Franklin County in Hocking County Municipal Court where bond was set at $25,000 with 10 percent allowed.

Should Sarver post bond, he will be required to submit to GPS monitoring, forfeit his passport and have no contact with the alleged victim.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 7, but Blackburn said the investigation will continue even as the court process begins.

“In my office, the investigation continues until a conviction is made,” Blackburn said. “As the evidence is gathered, we will proceed from there.”

The prosecutor is not ruling out other potential charges that could come about as the investigation continues, including those involving other victims, should any come forward.

“We ask that if anyone else believes they were a victim, that they come talk to (investigators),” Blackburn said.

It’s too early to tell whether the court case will proceed in Hocking County or whether attorneys will request a change of venue.

“That’s up to the court to decide,” according to Blackburn.

Anyone who has information pertaining to this case or similar allegations can anonymously contact law enforcement by sending a message through the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office at or can contact the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.