WVa officer, fireman pleads to civil rights charge in rape

June 3, 2022 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former police officer and firefighter in West Virginia has pleaded guilty in federal court in a rape case involving a 16-year-old girl.

Christopher Lee Osborne entered the plea to violating the girl’s civil rights by forcibly raping her at the Danville Fire Department, according to a news release issued Thursday by the U.S. Justice Department.

Osborne, 26, of Uneeda in Boone County, was a part-time officer with the Marmet Police Department and a firefighter with both the Charleston and Danville fire departments. He admitted in court that he used his position and status to forcibly sexually assault the victim in January 2021 in the fire station bunkhouse, the statement said.

“The defendant abused his official authority and position of power to perpetrate a violent sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kristen Clarke. “Officials who carry out sexual assaults on vulnerable people will be held accountable.”

Osborne faces up to 14 years in prison. Sentencing was set for July 13.