CORYDON, Ind. (WDRB) -- It was an emotional day in court as a former police officer in southern Indiana was sentenced for having sex with an underage girl.
Harrison County Judge Joseph Claypool sentenced Dwayne Avis to 18 months. He'll spend eight months behind bars and 10 months on probation. He could have received up to 30 months.
The former Georgetown Police officer was arrested in February 2018 and charged with child seduction and dissemination of matter harmful to minors. He pleaded guilty to the dissemination charge earlier this month.
The charges came after a friend of the 17-year-old told police the victim told her she met Avis when he was a Corydon Police officer. He pulled her over for smoking marijuana but let her go with a warning. Afterward, they developed a relationship on social media that eventually led to them having sex twice.
The girl also told investigators that Avis asked her to send him nude images of herself, and he sent her nude images of himself. She also said Avis gave her a sex toy.
The victim in the case read a statement during the hearing. She said she "lost her innocence" as a result of the relationship.
Avis, who was representing himself, was emotional at times, particularly while reading a statement about his family and law enforcement career. He also apologized to the victim and her family.
But Harrison County prosecutor Otto Schalk said that didn't change what happened.
"I'll go to hell and back for all of my police officers but if they break the law they're going to deal with me in the courtroom. This isn't the good ole boy system. In 2019. there is no room for that," he said. "I don't if care you're a police officer, if you break the law you should be held accountable just like anyone else."
Based on the charge Avis pleaded guilty to, he will not have to register as a sex offender once he completes his sentence.
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