The trial for former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Christopher Ward could go to the judge on Friday for a verdict.
Ward is accused of multiple sex crimes and his trial Thursday included testimony from alleged victims..
Ward, the former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper charged with committing multiple sex crimes, rejected a plea deal some months ago that would have avoided the possibility of a life term in prison.
According to the state attorney general’s office, the deal would have meant lifetime registration as a sex offender and a maximum of eight years in prison. He turned down would have had him plead guilty to a single count of sexual battery and two counts of gross sexual imposition.
Ward’s trial began on Monday. Thursday emotions ran high as a now 31-year-old woman told the court a pat down by the ex-trooper was overly aggressive.
A second alleged victim also took the stand and described an encounter with Ward as “sexually aggressive.”
She testified that Ward stopped her in 2007 while he was on duty as a state trooper. She said Ward gave her his personal phone number and the two eventually went on a dinner date.
After the dinner date, the woman said Ward became “sexually aggressive” and touched her inappropriately while at his home.
The alleged victim said she left Ward’s house and didn’t have any further contact with him.
Ward is charged with five counts of gross sexual imposition, two counts of sexual battery. There are six accusers, including a minor.
Among the accusation is that he inappropriately touched a 15-year-old girl as she slept in a bed with his daughter in March, 2018. In an interview with a state investigator when the charges were initially investigated Ward said he was grabbing at the family cat that was on a bed and not seeking to touch the girl.
Ward told Special Agent Laetitia Schuler , the lead investigator with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation in the criminal case, he touched the girl but it was innocent.
In other testimony Wednesday, the visiting Judge James Brogan heard from two more of Ward’s accusers.
One woman said Ward groped her during a pat-down on U.S. 35 in New Lebanon in 2015.
A second woman testified Ward physically forced her to perform a sex act on him in her pickup truck during a traffic stop.
By Friday, the case could go to Judge Brogan, who will determine Ward’s guilt or innocence because Ward decided he did not want a jury deciding the case.
Defense attorney Steve Hobbs said the evidence in the case will show Ward is innocent.
Hobbs said about one of the allegations, “it’s just bunk. It’s phooey. Chris is not gonna do that,” adding that, “the first allegations started with a disgruntled ex-wife.”
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