The trial in U.S. District Court for a former trooper from the Delaware Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol has been delayed.
William P. Elschlager, 48, of Marietta, Ohio, was scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 8 for one count of cyberstalking and one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.
However, in December, Elschlager’s attorney, Samuel Shamansky, asked for a continuance. Shamansky said he and federal prosecutors were engaged in discussions about the trial and would require more time to prepare for the trial.
The continuance was granted, but a new trial date has not been scheduled. The case was scheduled for a status conference on Jan. 3 before Judge Michael H. Watson.
Court officials said that while Elschlager was a lieutenant at the Marietta post of the Highway Patrol in 2015, he began engaging in an affair with the wife of another trooper. According to an affidavit, Elschlager allegedly began stalking the victim in October 2015 after she ended their relationship. The affidavit alleges that he frequently followed the victim in vehicles, texted her with knowledge of her whereabouts, and showed up at her residence unannounced.
Court documents indicate that the woman described Elschlager as “creepy” and reported that she once found a large ball of her hair that Elschlager had made.
District court officials stated that at one point, the victim’s vehicle broke down due to a missing radiator cap and Elschlager arrived on the scene. Court documents report that search warrants obtained by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for Elschlager’s electronic devices revealed internet searches such as “how long can a car go without a radiator cap.”
Officials said he also placed a GPS tracking device on her vehicle and conducted an unlawful traffic stop, during which time he turned off his audio recording device.
Elschlager was recently found guilty of three counts of theft after a one-day bench trial before Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger. Prosecutors said that police executed a search warrant at Elschlager’s Marietta home to find evidence in a Washington County criminal case and during the search they located two firearms that had been stolen from evidence while Elschlager was a trooper at the Delaware post of the OSHP.
After the verdict, Krueger ordered that a pre-sentence investigation be conducted and scheduled a sentencing hearing for Jan. 19 at 3:30 p.m.
Elschlager was indicted in May 2016 and charged with one count of tampering with records and six counts of theft, all third-degree felonies. Three of the theft charges were dismissed before the trial.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported in 2016 that Elschlager was dismissed on Feb. 1, 2016, for “conduct unbecoming of an officer.” Elschlager had been a trooper for the highway patrol since 1997 and previously worked at the Delaware Post several years ago.
Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.