EXCLUSIVE: News 3 Investigates Former Port Wentworth Candidate - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

EXCLUSIVE: News 3 Investigates Former Port Wentworth Candidate

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Port Wentworth, GA -

A political candidate with a criminal past.

Mike Woods is a convicted felon whose past is the reason he dropped out of the Port Wentworth City Council race this week.

Allegations are now mounting against the former candidate. This time involving sex, pictures, and promises of cash.

"You can be objective or you can get the hell out of here!"

Those were Port Wentworth city council candidate Mike Woods' words to News 3 at his campaign event Saturday.

But according to several women we talked to, he usually makes a better first impression.

"If I had a problem around my house he'd always try and come fix it for me so no big deal," said "Pam" one of Woods alleged victims.

"I'll load up and come cut the grass for you," remembered Traci. "How much is it going to cost me? Its not going to cost you anything"

According to current Port Wentworth councilman Ernie Stanhope, he started hearing allegations months ago.

"One of the church members came out with it and approached the pastor and deacons with it," said Stanhope. "They of course went and approached Mike. Figured that would be the end of it until he decided to run for election."

Allegations that Stanhope says quickly piled up.

"She came out on Facebook," explained Stanhope. "I contacted her through facebook and then in person. She told me some of the other things that went on. Then another woman came forward. Then another.came forward. That's when things started snowballing."

"You've heard from?"

"Three different women I heard from, but ive heard of more."

"I started getting text messages about how he always thinks about me and about the way I looked in church Saturday<' explains "betty" another one of Woods' Alleged victims. "Liked what I was wearing. A lot of inappropriate compliments is what you would call it."

"He offered me $2500 and said I'll have that for you real soon," said Tracy Parrish, an alleged Woods' victim. "(he said) You don't have to do anything. I'll just do it all. What are you talking about? Said well and he said sex. I said no."

"He suggested he could help us out with our situation and that he would pay me $2500 to see me naked," said "Betty". "He didn't even want to touch me, he just wanted to look at me."

"He even went so far as to send me an exposed picture," said "Pam".

"By exposed picture you mean?"

"With his pants pulled down," said "Pam".

"He continued to send me text messages saying you look beautiful sitting on your porch drinking coffee," said "Betty". "I would see him riding by my house 3 times a day for 3 days. At that point I messaged him and said if this doesn't stop I will get my husband and get the police involved because you are harassing, stalking me."  

The only criminal charges in Mike Woods background were 35 years ago. News 3 has obtained records from back in 1978 which show that Woods was arrested, indicted and eventually did 2 years in Prison for armed robbery.

"I went to go open up the place of business that I worked at and he attempted to rob me," explained Debra about that night. "All I could think about was the police were going to ask me to identify him, so I pulled off the mask and it was Mike Woods."

Debra was the victim in that case.
She says even 35 years later - she still lives in fear.

"I was scared to death. To this day I'm still scared. If he's riding behind me on the road I have to turn off. I'm frightened of him," said an emotional Debra. "He could have killed me"

Fear is why these three women say they haven't come forward until now.

"It scares me for my family and myself," said "betty". "We are very involved in the community and I don't want anything to jeopardize that because I love this city."

So I went to the source, and talked to Mike Woods himself, as he was drumming up support for his candidacy at an event last weekend.

"I've got several women who have talked to me and said you've sent them pictures. That you've propositioned them for sex for money."

"That's a lie. That's a total lie," said Mike Woods. "I've even put on my Facebook page that if anyone had any questions concerning my past, present of future to contact me."

"Then why is it that Mr Gary Norton (running on same ticket for Mayor) didn't know you were a convicted felon?"

"I don't know. I can't tell you that, but it is a matter of public record. It happened 35 years ago," explained Woods. "I don't have money to offer anybody for sex. I drive a truck for a living. I don't make that kind of money."

"And there are no pictures Out there?"

"None that I know of," says Woods.

"Of your genitals."

"No sir," said a defiant Woods.

"Don't you sit there and judge me on God damn accusations," said an angry Mike Woods. "I'm telling you that right now you bring those people in front of me and you better tell them to bring evidence because I will have a lawyer contact them plain and simple. I'm going to take everyone to court and I'm going to sue every one of them. Pass that one. Thank you very much."

According to Georgia law, no convicted felon can run or hold political office unless that person can vote, and their civil rights have been restored "and" at least 10 years have passed since the sentence, and the same person has not been convicted of another felony since their original sentence was over.  

Mike Woods is on the voter registration rolls, but News 3 could not reach Woods for comment on why he dropped out of the race.

While the women didn't want their faces shown on camera, we can tell you at least one of them has a connection to a local politician running in this election.  

None of the women have filed complaints with Port Wentworth Police.  

We asked to see the text messages and pictures in question.  

The ladies we spoke to say they are trying to recover some of the text messages and pictures that have been deleted before they consider further action.  

We will keep you updated.

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