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Welch Ordered To Turn Over Alleged Topless Photos Of Miss N.C. Contestant

Posted September 9, 2002

— The hearing for Miss North Carolina contestant Rebekah Revels' ex-fiance, Tosh Welch, scheduled for Tuesday in Robeson County has been postponed.

Welch, a police officer in Cherokee, implied in an e-mail to the Miss America Organization that he had topless photos of her. Welch has been ordered to turn over the alleged photos, but the Cherokee Indian nation says he does not have to.

WRAL talked to a member of the Cherokee Tribal Council who said she and others defend Welch for raising character issues about Revels to pageant officials. Welch discussed his legal options with tribal leaders Friday in the face of a Robeson County court order that state that he must turn over the alleged photos and other documents regarding the case.

Leaders contend that the Cherokee nation is a sovereign reservation with its own rules and its own court system, and that Robeson County has no jurisdiction in this case.

"He does not have the jurisdiction or permission from this tribe to make such a request, and are we going to honor such a request like that? I seriously doubt it," tribal council member Teresa McCoy said.

They also contend that if Revels was to pursue legal action about the photos, it should be done in Cherokee.

There is no word yet on when Welch's court hearing will take place.

Welch declined to talk with WRAL, but WRAL did talk to Tosh's father, a retired military man, who said he felt both Revels and his son contributed to the controversy. He said he wishes he could put both in a room, get a hickory switch and let them have it.

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