Constable fighting judge’s domestic violence order
Hockensmith says texts between him and daughter misunderstood
By Lauren Hallow Published: August 9, 2012 10:12AM
An attorney for Constable Floyd Hockensmith says he’s filing a motion today to vacate or amend the domestic violence order issued against Hockensmith that forced him to surrender his weapons and lose his job as manager of an apartment complex.
An emergency protection order was issued against Hockensmith after his stepdaughter filed a domestic violence petition in June, saying she was “scared for her safety” after Hockensmith allegedly “pinned her down” and made sexual remarks toward her.
Last week, William Ryan Jr., a retired Jefferson District Court judge specially appointed to hear Hockensmith’s case, issued a domestic violence order in Franklin Family Court requiring Hockensmith to remain 500 feet away from his stepdaughter, surrender his guns and to complete domestic violence counseling, according to court records. The DVO remains in effect until July 31, 2015.
Hockensmith’s stepdaughter presented text messages at the hearing between her and Hockensmith, where Hockensmith calls her a “hoe,”“skank,”“hooker” and “slut.”
Attorney Joe Passalacqua, who represented Hockensmith in the July 31 domestic violence hearing, told The State Journal this morning he’s filing a motion today in family court to amend or vacate the DVO.
“I just don’t think the evidence is there,” Passalacqua said.“The texts may have been in poor taste … but if you put it all into context, the texts they were both sending shows she was bantering with him just as much.”
Passalacqua pointed out at last week’s hearing that the woman at one point referred to herself in a derogatory manner. The State Journal previously reported that Hockensmith texted his stepdaughter saying “You can’t handle this skank,” but video of the testimony shows that actually the stepdaughter sent that text to Hockensmith.
Floyd Hockensmith later testified that the two have been “bantering” like that for years.
“She’s joked with me like that ever since she’s been an adult,” he said in court.“… This has all been taken out of context.”
Both Hockensmith and his wife, Donna, testified that they think the woman sought the DVO not because she’s afraid, but because she wanted Floyd Hockensmith’s job.
Up until the DVO was filed June 20, Hockensmith was the manager of University Lodge apartments, where his stepdaughter was also employed. After the DVO was issued, Hockensmith was let go, and the stepdaughter became the new manager.
Shortly after the EPO was issued, Donna Hockensmith said she called her daughter and asked what her intentions were.
“She said,‘Number one … because I want him the hell away from me,’” her mother testified.“And I said,‘Number 2?… You want control of the hotel without him being there to tell you what to do?’
“And she said,‘You’re damn right I do.’”
Both Donna and Floyd Hockensmith declined to comment to The State Journal.
“You said … you had no notification at all that anything is a problem. Well, now you do have some notification because a daughter told you so,” Ryan said. He then handed her page two of the text message transcript, which included the derogatory terms.
“I want you to read it again and explain how there is no sexual indications. Seems to me that whole page is … sexual,” he said.
Hockensmith remains a constable. He was elected in 2010 for a four-year term, and Judge-Executive Ted Collins said he hasn’t been approached by anyone about removing Hockensmith from his post.
Because the woman is Hockensmith’s stepdaughter, the case was heard in Family Court. Ryan was specially appointed to hear Hockensmith’s case after Franklin Family Judge Squire Williams recused himself.
County Attorney Rick Sparks told The State Journal he is reviewing the case to determine if criminal charges need to be filed.