WILMINGTON -- Obstruction of justice is one of the charges Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett is facing.
According to prosecutors, in 2006 Hewett told a detective not to charge his cousin with harassing a witness in a child molestation case.
In a sworn statement, Detective Laurie Smith said Sheriff Hewett told her not to charge his cousin, Margaret Hewett, with intimidating a witness.
That witness is a mother of three children who said her kids were molested by her ex-husband, Margaret Hewett's son.
To protect her and her children, we will only use her first name, Dawn.
Two years ago, Dawn's children were molested by their father, a man who is behind bars for the next decade.
According to Dawn, getting justice was a struggle.
She said her mother-in-law, Sheriff Hewett's cousin Margaret, tried to get her to drop the charges by sullying her name at her place of work and making threatening comments.
Margaret Hewett was never charged.
"I don't think it should matter who the person is whether they're family or not. Justice should be served," said Dawn.
In a sworn affidavit that led to Sheriff Hewett's indictment, the detective handling the case said the sheriff stepped in, because charges against his cousin would hurt him politically.
Dawn said she wonders had the sheriff not gotten involved, if the outcome of the case would be different.
According to Dawn, her ex-husband was given a plea deal.
She said while her children are now safe, she wonders if justice is easier on those with family connections in high places.
The sheriff has never commented publicly on the case.
Reported by Kelli O'Hara