Petersburg jury finds couple liable for defaming former police officer

A Petersburg jury has found residents Julie Ruhle and Jim Vick liable for defaming a former police officer. Two years ago, the couple pled guilty in a criminal court to falsely accusing Louis Waechter of sexually assaulting Ruhle during a traffic stop. Now, the couple is obligated to pay over $1.5 million in damages.

The jury handed down their first verdict on May 22, after less than a day of deliberation. Their second verdict, determining punitive damages, came the following day.

According to testimony presented in court, in the fall of 2020, then-Petersburg police officer Louis Waechter loca...

 

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