REPORT: 2015 search of woman not for sexual gratification, fired trooper says

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Former OSP trooper facing sex crime charges

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATE @ 10:40 p.m.: Fired state Trooper Christopher Ward said he was just doing his job when he searched a woman during a traffic stop in 2015 and denied to investigators that he touched her for sexual gratification.

Explore>> BCI: Another woman provides information regarding investigation into local trooper

Details about that traffic stop were found in internal investigation documents the Preble County Prosecutor's Office developed in its investigation into Ward's behavior after he stopped his accuser along U.S. 35 for speeding.

News Center 7 reporter John Bedell filed a public records request to get the report.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Details released on OSP trooper incident

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

According to the documents, Ward approached the car with a cadet intern, then took the driver to the back of his cruiser after speaking with that person. Ward told investigators he switched his cruiser camera to record facing the rear of the cruiser to record the driver's actions. The driver told investigators she did not witness the search.

Ward's accuser said she felt him touch her inappropriately as he searched her. She told state patrol investigators, in an interview, it happened three times during that traffic stop.

Ward told investigators he considered the pat-down one search and he used the back of his hand in following policy because, he told them, he thought she may have had a weapon. The former trooper said he thought he felt heroin gel caps she was hiding in her private area.

He told investigators he thought it would have been a waste of time to get a search warrant if he thought she was hiding drugs in a body cavity.

"No, it was not," he said when state patrol investigators asked him whether the search was for his sexual gratification.

The cadet with Ward told investigators that nothing about the search seemed inappropriate or sexual in nature.

Ward gave his accuser and the driver a warning for speeding the let them go.

UPDATE @ 2:45 p.m. (Feb. 14):

Internal investigation documents into the 2015 traffic stop involving former Trooper Christopher Ward, which  resulted in felony charges being filed against him, have been released following a public records request by this news agency.

We are working to sort through those documents and will update this story with any details from them.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Another woman comes forward to accuse trooper

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

INITIAL REPORT

The state trooper indicted for sex crimes said to have happened both on and off duty has been fired.

Christopher Ward, 44, was indicted a week ago on two counts of felony gross sexual imposition and one count of misdemeanor sexual imposition.

According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Ward was terminated for violating the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s rules and regulations.

The charges stem from two incidents, one in January 2015 and another while he was off duty involving a child last March, investigators said.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost told News Center 7 last week there may be additional victims.

“We are prepared to use all available resources and are calling on the public to assist us in conducting a thorough investigation,” the attorney general said.

The investigation into the allegations against Ward began following a referral from Preble County Children’s Services. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office then took over the investigation from there, after the Preble County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance.

Ward bonded out of jail last week and is expected back in court March 28.

He was placed on administrative duties at the state patrol’s Dayton post as soon as the attorney general’s office started its investigation, the patrol said.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to exercise Chris’ due process rights,” Ward’s attorney, Steven Hobbs, said.

News Center 7 first told you about the 2015 incident involving Ward, who is accused by a woman who said he groped her when he patted her down during a traffic stop on U.S. 35.

“And when he got between my legs, he wouldn’t stop,” the accuser told News Center 7 the day the traffic stop occurred.

This news agency reviewed Ward’s personnel file and found it made no mention of the 2015 incident. However, multiple sources confirmed there are other records that do reference the allegations.

News Center 7 has requested copies of those documents as well as cruiser camera footage from the traffic stop from the patrol.

The accuser’s mother said in a phone interview that Ward’s arrest comes as a relief.

“Our biggest thing is we don’t want it to happen to anyone else,” she said.

We’re also working to learn additional details about the incident involving Ward while he was off duty.

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