Mark Weiner accuser in court again

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Chelsea Steiniger was in Charlottesville Albemarle Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court as the alleged victim of an assault.
Staff photo Chelsea Steiniger was in Charlottesville Albemarle Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court as the alleged victim of an assault. Staff photo

The woman whose accusations jailed former Food Lion manager Mark Weiner for two and a half years before he was released, and led to the defeat of then-commonwealth’s attorney Denise Lunsford in 2015 was in court April 27.

Chelsea Steiniger accused Michael Mills, the father of her two children, of punching her on February 15. A judge found Mills guilty of assault and battery.

Mills was the boyfriend who would not let Steiniger spend the night December 12, 2012, when Weiner gave her a ride from the Lucky 7. She began texting Mills that she’d been abducted, according to court records. Mills called the police, and Steiniger claimed she’d been drugged and escaped from Weiner by leaping out a second-story window, a tale Weiner’s attorney called “pure fiction.”

Before a judge vacated Weiner’s conviction on July 14, 2015, when Lunsford learned that an undercover informant alleged Steiniger sold him $100 worth of cocaine, Mills filed an affidavit that said Steiniger admitted to him she’d made up the story.

In court April 27, Mills’ attorney, Lacey Parker, said Steiniger has a habit of making false police reports, and brought up a former case against another man. Steiniger testified she didn’t mean to lie to police about him, and that she has PTSD, which makes her remember things incorrectly, and she was also “heavily intoxicated” at that time. She said she’s “not allowed” to drink alcohol now.

She also alleged Mills was on LSD that night of the alleged assault.

Mills, who has a lengthy rap sheet that includes previous domestic assault charges from Steiniger and an assault on law enforcement conviction, for which he served time, claimed before the hearing that Steiniger was “trying to blackmail me and keep me from seeing my kids.”

Michael Mills is appealing his assault conviction. Photo Charlottesville police

“Clearly it’s a credibility contest,” said prosecutor Andrew Wilder. The judge sentenced Mills to six months in jail, with five suspended, and two years of good behavior. Mills has filed an appeal, says his attorney.—Samantha Baars and Lisa Provence

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