Prosecutor’s office adds new faces

Kelsey Riffle looks over files Wednesday afternoon at the Washington County Courthouse. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

Visitors to the Washington County Prosecutor’s office will notice two new faces, as an assistant prosecutor and victim advocate have been hired.

Kelsey Riffle, 26, of Vincent, started July 13 as Washington County Assistant Prosecutor. She worked in the Summit County Prosecutor’s office for two years, but was ready to come home to her family, who live in Washington County.

“When the opportunity opened up, I applied and came back,” she said.

Riffle graduated at age 16 from high school in 2010 and from Ohio State University at age 19 with her undergraduate degree. She graduated from the OSU law school in 2017, finishing at age 23.

“That doesn’t happen very often,” Washington County Prosecutor Nicole Coil said, noting 25 is the earliest age most people graduate from law school.

Riffle said she enjoys working in the prosecutor’s office because she enjoys helping people.

“I like helping people tell their stories,” she said, noting being a prosecutor is the only legal profession where they seek the truth. “They are trying to find the actual truth.”

For the last month, Riffle has been working juvenile and criminal cases, but Coil said her schedule will soon change.

“We are getting ready to be very busy,” she said. “There will be a lot of trials in the near future.”

Coil said she appreciates the fact that Riffle is a “high achiever.”

“She did well at Summit County and she has a good work ethic and is principled,” she said. “Nothing fazes her.”

Riffle can easily adjust and jumps in to help, as she is used to Summit County’s larger docket, Coil explained.

“She’s able to take on more cases here,” she added. “She’s assimilated well in a short time.”

Now that Riffle is back in Washington County, she enjoys spending time with her family. Through law school, she worked three jobs, so she’s still getting adjusted to having time in the evenings.

“There’s not much extra time in law school,” Riffle said.

Coil said the other new face in the office won’t start until Tuesday. Ariel Dair, 30, of Marietta, will be joining the team as a victim advocate, taking the place of Ashli Diamond, who left the position on Friday. Coil said Diamond left because she found employment helping people in the private sector.

Dair has worked helping with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault for several years. She said she’s worked on and off interning and volunteering at Eve Inc. for more than six years, as well as working for Marietta’s law office as assistant victim advocate for four years.

“I loved working with the courts and I love working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” she explained. “I want to be down (at the courthouse) and offer my expertise. I’ve worked with people in the (prosecutor’s) office before and I enjoyed working with them.”

As a victim advocate, she will be going through both criminal and civil cases.

“I am their voice going through the (legal) process and guiding them where they need to go,” Dair said. “It’s the first stop for them, to kind of help them through the process.”

She said her job is to notify the victims of any court dates and ask their opinions of the cases.

“There are a lot of women (victims), but also men and children,” Dair explained. “I believe that a lot in the Appalachian culture, men see it as not something they should report. I see more women and children, but I do see a good deal of men as well.”

Dair is married to her husband, Matthew, and they have one son, Joey. She is self-described as “very nerdy.”

“I love technology and learning everything I can about it,” she said.

Coil said she’s excited to have Dair as part of the team.

“She’s very pleasant and will do a good job translating to our office,” she said.


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