Rose McGowan drug hearing postponed after prosecutor recuses self

LEESBURG, Va. — Days after Loudoun County prosecutor Jim Plowman recused himself in actress-activist Rose McGowan’s upcoming cocaine possession trial, McGowan’s preliminary hearing has been postponed.

Last week, Paul Ebert, prosecutor of neighboring Prince William County told WTOP Plowman had asked him to take over the case, because McGowan’s attorney, James Hundley, represents Plowman in an ongoing federal civil rights case.

McGowan’s preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for Tuesday, has been rescheduled for March 21, according to online court records.

“The Prince William Commonwealth’s Attorney (sought) the continuance because the assistant assigned to the case will be trying a robbery case in Prince William County” on Tuesday, Hundley told WTOP.

McGowan is charged with felony drug possession. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, her attorney said.

According to charging documents, a plane-cleaning crew found McGowan’s wallet next to her seat after she got off a flight at Dulles International Airport, on Jan. 20, 2017. McGowan had flown from Los Angeles to take part in last year’s Women’s March, the day after President Trump took office.

The wallet contained two small bags of white powder.

According to police, the powder tested positive for cocaine.

McGowan is free on unsecured bond. She has said she intends to plead not guilty. She and her attorney have suggested the drugs could have been planted.

McGowan told The New Yorker she believed she was being followed by a detective hired by movie producer Harvey Weinstein. The leading Hollywood voice against sexual harassment has accused Weinstein of raping her.

Hundley successfully represented Plowman in a civil suit filed by a Loudoun County resident, who claimed Plowman unconstitutionally restricted his free speech on the county’s Facebook page.

A federal judge ruled Plowman’s office was allowed to remove resident Brian Davison’s comments, because a Facebook page is a limited public forum under the First Amendment.

“My conflict with the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney still exists because the Davison appeal has yet to be decided,” in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Hundley said.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.


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