RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Monday, a Grand Jury in Wake County returned a presentment against Attorney General Josh Stein paving way for his possible indictment, as well as against two others that worked on his 2020 campaign.
The decision is to investigate Stein’s campaign ad commonly referred to as the “Survivor ad”.
The decision follows investigations from the North Carolina State Board of Elections and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
The investigation began in 2020 after Attorney General candidate and current Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill filed a complaint.
The question in the investigation was whether the ad commonly referred to as the “Survivor ad”
violated North Carolina General Statute 163-274(a)(9).
In the ad, a sexual assault victim and employee of North Carolina Department of Justice made the following statement:
“As a survivor of sexual assault that means a lot to me and when I learned that Jim O’Neill left 1,500 rape kits [sitting] on a shelf leaving rapists on the street, I had to speak out.”
A state law makes it a class 2 misdemeanor for anyone to publish derogatory reports or false information with reference to any candidate in a primary or general election with intent to affect the chances for a candidate’s nomination or election.
O’Neill narrowly lost the election to Stein.
The presentment was the first phase in the misdemeanor offense. The next step will be to send indictments to a Grand Jury.
Furthermore, Seth Dearmin and Eric Stern are also in question, the presentment confirms. No one has any charges at this time.