WLOS — Just a day after a criminal summons was issued for state Representative Cody Henson for cyber stalking, the North Carolina Democratic Party, Democratic Women of North Carolina, and a House Democratic leader are calling for him to resign from his position.
On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney said a complaint filed in conjunction with the filing of a domestic protective order by Henson's wife led to an investigation.
A year-long Domestic Violence Protection order was issued on Tuesday, February 26, after Henson’s wife, Kelsey Henson, testified she feared for her life and for the life of her children. The judge said he found no evidence of any threats by Henson in his texts to his wife, but he did find that Henson was harassing her and ruled in her favor.
“Any form of domestic violence or abuse is categorically unacceptable,” President of the Democratic Women of North Carolina Julia Buckner said. “The Democratic Party believes women and we are steadfast in our commitment to stand with survivors. Cody Henson must resign immediately.”
According to his wife, Henson’s position as a state legislator prevented local officials from seeking immediate and appropriate action against him. Instead, she was repeatedly denied help, leaving her to face emotional abuse from Henson for nearly a year.
“I have remained silent on this issue until this time because in the United States people are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” House Democratic Whip Rep. Deb Butler (HD-18) said. “Now that a judge has seen fit, after a hearing on the merits, to grant a permanent restraining order against Representative Henson, there has been a finding of domestic violence on his part. There is no place for domestic violence in our society, particularly on the part of an elected official who purports to be a role model for our youth. In my opinion, he should resign.”
Rep. Henson's attorney Monica Gillett said last week Henson has not decided if he’ll step down from his state office, but he will consider all options and do what’s in the best interest of his constituents.
“Representative Henson must not be protected by the silence of his party.” NC Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin said. “It is unacceptable that Speaker Moore and the North Carolina Republican Party are trying to sweep this reprehensible behavior under the rug. Republican leaders should take this opportunity to stand with survivors of domestic violence and join us in calling on Representative Henson to resign.”
A statement from attorney J. Michael Edney said Henson received a copy of the summons Thursday.
"Rep. Henson looks forward to addressing this allegation in due course through our judicial system and will not attempt to litigate the matter through the media," Edney's statement said. "Cody will continue to focus his love and energy on his two beautiful children and will continue to represent the people of District 113."
A March 28 court date has been set.