Former Georgetown Police officer accused of having sex with underage girl
Authorities say he met her at a traffic stop -- and their relationship involved gifts, nude images and sex.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A former officer with the Georgetown Police Department is facing serious charges stemming from allegations that he engaged in sexual relations with an underage girl.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the Indiana Department of Child Services received a report on Jan. 11 that Dwayne Avis had exchanged nude images and had consensual sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl while he worked for the Corydon Police Department.
Court documents describe Avis as a former Corydon Police officer. We're told he was recently fired from being a Georgetown Police officer.
Investigators say they interviewed one of the victim's teen friends, who said the victim told her all about how she met Avis when he was a Corydon Police officer. He pulled her over for smoking marijuana. He allegedly told her that if he she put the marijuana joint out, she wouldn't get in trouble. She said he then added her on Snapchat and they began communicating regularly -- eventually having sexual intercourse.
Investigators then met with the victim's legal guardian and -- with permission -- seized her cell phone to examine it for evidence. According to the probable cause affidavit, they were able to review the phone's Internet history, and saw where she had viewed Avis' Facebook page on June 1, 2017. There was also a recorded incident on June 3, 2017, when the victim texted an 18-year-old male friend to see if he had texted Avis. The male friend replied that he had not, but that Avis was going to attend his upcoming party.
The victim was interviewed by authorities on Jan. 26, 2018. According to the probable cause affidavit, she said she and Avis had engaged in sexual intercourse twice -- on Jan. 1, 2017, and on Sept. 1, 2017 -- and that they had engaged in additional sex acts both times.
She also told investigators that Avis asked her to send him nude images of herself, and he sent her nude images of himself.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the victim also claimed that Avis had given her a sex toy.
On Feb. 1, Avis was arrested and charged with two counts of child seduction and dissemination of matter harmful to minors.
Harrison County Detention Center officials say Avis paid his $4,500 bond shortly after being booked into jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 16 at 1 p.m. in Harrison County Superior Court.
Harrison County Prosecutor Otto Schalk said Monday he believes police officers should be held to a higher standard.
"I understand perhaps more than anyone the tremendous amount of trust and power that's bestowed upon these positions," he said, adding that, "we have to hold people accountable. Just because you have a gun and a badge, it doesn't mean you're above the law."
Schalk said Avis was working as a Corydon Police officer when the alleged crimes took place. He later left the department on his own to join the Georgetown Police Department -- but was fired from that job for something the chief calls unrelated.
"Mr. Avis was a Georgetown Police Department officer at the time of this investigation and is no longer now," Schalk said.
Schalk added that the severity of the crime is compounded by Avis' position at the time as a Corydon Police officer.
"Indiana mandates that individuals in those unique positions of trust not engage in sexual relations with individuals until they reach 18 years of age," Schalk said. "Officers are held to a higher standard and when those standards are breached, there are consequences that follow."
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