NEW: Judge Sets Trial Date For Ex-HRHA Director

Deskins Charged With Soliciting Prostitution

Posted: April 14, 2014

Daily News-Record

The former director of the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority who was arrested on drug and prostitution charges in Mount Jackson made his first court appearance this morning in Shenandoah County General District Court.

Jim Deskins, who served as executive director of the authority from 1979 to 2000 and is now with the Winchester City Economic Development Authority, was arrested in a sting operation March 27 by a Shenandoah County sheriff's investigator assigned to the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force.

The 59-year-old is charged with soliciting prostitution and possession of marijuana, both misdemeanors.

Winchester attorney William Bassler, according to court records, is representing him.

During a brief hearing in court, a judge scheduled Deskins to appear on May 12 for trial.

“Deskins arrived at an undercover site ... and offered the confidential informant $100 in exchange for sexual services," according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.

Deskins was one of at least seven people arrested March 27 as part of an operation conducted through the Mount Jackson Police Department.

At the time of his arrest, he served as the executive director of the Winchester City Economic Development Authority, and also is the city’s director of economic redevelopment. Since his arrest, he has offered his resignation.

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