A seven-year prison sentence has been meted out to an ex-police officer accused of committing a sex offense while assigned to a Columbus, Ohio, high school. Prosecutors asserted that he had compelled two 15-year-old female students at Centennial High School to begin sexual relations with him. He was assigned to work at the school as a resource officer in 2012.
The 50-year-old male ex-officer entered into a guilty plea earlier in the year. His arrest came at the culmination of an FBI investigation that reported that he had sent and received messages with the girls on Facebook and through text messages. He purportedly asked the girls for help with what he said was his addiction to sex.
After he serves his prison sentence, he will also have to remain under house arrest for an additional year, followed by supervised release for a period of five more years. The federal judge also imposed a $20,00 fine. As a consequence of the conviction, the defendant will be mandated to comply with lifetime sex registration requirements.
The offense for which he was convicted actually has a minimum prison sentence of a full decade in prison, but his sentence was reduced because of his reported cooperation with other unspecified ongoing FBI investigations.
One of the girls reported that she carried out an oral sex act on him in the high school auditorium while a play was being presented. He was in his police uniform at the time, according to her account, and also wearing his gun belt. The potentially lengthy prison sentences and harsh impact of lifetime sex offender registration renders it vital that anyone facing accusations of a sexual offense consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible time.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Ex-school cop gets 7 years for sex abuse" Ryan Clark, Jun. 28, 2013