An Elizabeth City city councilor has been indicted on charges that he disclosed online private images of a woman engaged in sexual conduct, stalked the woman and tried to monitor her movements, including by installing monitoring devices on her vehicle.
Gabriel McClease Adkins, 33, was indicted by a Pasquotank County grand jury on Monday, court documents show. The charges include disclosure of private images, which is a felony, and stalking and cyberstalking, both misdemeanors.
According to a copy of the felony indictment, the grand jury found Adkins “knowingly disclose(d) an image” of a woman on Feb. 9 “with the intent to coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate or cause financial loss to her.” The woman is named in the indictment but The Daily Advance is choosing not to identify her.
“The depicted person,” the indictment continues, “is identifiable from the disclosed image ... and (her) intimate parts are exposed or engaged in sexual conduct in (the) disclosed image.”
Adkins disclosed the image of the woman without her consent, the indictment alleges. Adkins also obtained the image, according to the indictment, “under circumstances ... (he) knew or should have known (she) ... expected ... to remain private.”
The indictment for the cyberstalking charge accuses Adkins of “unlawfully and willfully” communicating electronically with the woman “repeatedly for the purpose of annoying and harassing” her. According to the indictment, Adkins engaged in the alleged conduct between Feb. 1 and Feb. 10.
The indictment for stalking states Adkins “on more than one occasion” harassed the woman by following her. It also accuses him of “installing a tracking device on her vehicle for the purpose of tracking her movements.”
A source briefed on the police investigation said Adkins in fact installed two tracking devices on the woman’s vehicle.
The indictment states Adkins “should have known that the harassment and course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.” It likewise claims the alleged conduct happened between Feb. 1-10.
Adkins, one of two councilors who represent Elizabeth City’s Second Ward, did not immediately respond to either phone or email messages Wednesday. The councilor also owns a local catering business and recently opened a funeral home business.
Sgt. Latoya Flanigan confirmed Wednesday the Elizabeth City Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the charges against Adkins. She said Adkins likely would be served the indictments on Thursday. She said the department would have no comment on the investigation.
In a press release, City Manager Rich Olson said the ECPD conducted its investigation of Adkins’ conduct over a six-month period. He said the investigation was prompted by a citizen’s complaint lodged earlier in the year. Information from the police investigation was turned over to the District Attorney’s Office to determine what action was warranted, and the District Attorney’s Office took the allegations before a grand jury, he said.
“The City Council of the city of Elizabeth City will continue to move forward through this matter,” Mayor Bettie Parker said in a statement. “The city of Elizabeth City has many positive ongoing matters and this incident should not distract the rest of the council from doing what our citizens have elected us to do.”
Olson’s release noted that Adkins is considered “innocent until proven guilty.” The statement also referred additional questions to the District Attorney’s Office.
A message left late Wednesday with District Attorney Andrew Womble’s office wasn’t immediately returned.