When a police officer is accused of a crime, he or she may have a great deal at stake. Not only will the officer's reputation be damaged whether or not there is a conviction, but his or her career in law enforcement may be compromised. In addition, a conviction may mean a prison sentence, which is frequently dangerous for a police officer. A West Virginia sheriff's deputy will need a strong criminal defense strategy to protect him from time behind bars.
The 43-year-old deputy was assigned to a local high school as a resource officer. A 15-year-old student at that school reported that the deputy contacted him through a social-networking website for gay men. The officer allegedly identified himself to the boy and sent him explicit pictures through the website. The student apparently told police that the officer requested pictures of the boy in return.
The officer was arrested following a confrontation involving firearms at his home. Fellow deputies say the man intended to harm himself. His attorney argued that the man's bond should be reduced because he suffers badly from PTSD and requires medication. This information was upsetting to West Virginia school officials who say he should not have been assigned to the school with such complex medical issues.
Currently, the officer is on home detention. He is charged with felony distribution of obscene materials to a minor and using obscene materials to seduce a minor. If convicted, he faces up to ten years in prison and $50,000 in fines. His attorney will study the evidence and work diligently on his criminal defense to protect him from going to prison.
Source: heraldmailmedia.com, "Bond reduced for Berkeley County deputy accused of sending explicit image to minor", Matthew Umstead, Dec. 16, 2016