Former Wheeling Officer Must Register as Sex Offender

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A plea agreement hearing took place in Ohio County Circuit Court for the Sexual Abuse case of former Wheeling Police Officer Phil Redford.

Redford pleaded guilty to a felony Possessing and Exhibiting Material Depicting a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct.

He was sentenced to one year probation followed by 24 months of extended sexual offender supervision.

The original felony sentence would have been two years in West Virginia State Penitentiary, but was suspended for the plea agreement.

Some terms of the agreement include: registering as a sex offender for the next 10 years, and having no contact (direct or indirect) with the alleged victim, his now fiancé for the next three years.

His fiancé can petition the court after one year for contact, which the prosecution says they will fight on behalf of the state.

Judge Ronald Wilson from Hancock went over in detail the terms of the agreement in court on Thursday.

Prosecutor Joe Barki says Redford possessed a full frontal nude photo of the victim which he showed to someone at his house in May.

RELATED STORY: Former Wheeling Police Officer Arrested on Sexual Abuse Charges Involving Teen

Redford’s original accusation was of Sexual Abuse by a Person in a Position of Trust while he was the head of security at the Linsly School.

When looking at the plea agreement, Barki says he took into consideration victims age, parents position, and defendants lack of criminal history.

The victim’s father released a statement to 7News. It reads:

My entire family and I are most satisfied with this outcome, but we are by no means happy. Mr. Redford broke not only the law, but he also broke a sacred trust with the people and the institutions that had relied upon his judgment and protection.

By pursuing not only an illegal, but a morally reprehensible course of conduct, he has inflicted unimaginable, painful injury on many, including our daughter, us, our extended family and friends, Linsly School, and the Wheeling Police Department. We surmise that his family, too, has experienced undeserved heartache over his behavior.

As we are not vindictive people, we extended to Mr. Redford through our lawyer, Paul Harris, the opportunity to avoid this prosecution by simply refraining from having further contact with our daughter after we had discovered his illegal actions in August. That he rejected this offer by continuing to see her speaks forcefully to both his arrogance and to his severely impaired judgment.

This course of action was wholly unnecessary and Mr. Redford has only himself to thank for the fact that he is now a convicted felon and a registered sex offender. Ideally, he will strictly follow the Court’s directive that he refrain from having any further contact with our daughter for the next three years so that she can begin to get over him and enjoy the normal life that she deserves.

Words fail to adequately express how profoundly grateful we are to West Virginia State Police Sgt. Scott Adams for his thorough, meticulous, and unrelenting investigation of this matter. We are also especially grateful to the Special Prosecuting Attorney, Joseph Barki, for his shrewd, level-headed approach to prosecuting this case. We are most thankful as well for the humbling outpouring of love and support we received from so many of our friends and family during this painful time.

7News anchor Tessa DiTirro spoke with Redford after the hearing. He would not release a statement.

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