Former Wheeling Police Officer Arrested on Sexual Abuse Charges Involving Teen

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

 A former Wheeling Police Officer has been arrested on sexual abuse charges involving a teenager.

Retired Wheeling Police Lt. Phil Redford was arrested by West Virginia State Police Wednesday on charges of Sexual Abuse by a Person in a Position of Trust. 

Sargent Matthew Scott Adams with the Crimes Against Children unit received the original complaint, and says the case has been under investigation since October. 

“I initially received the call from the attorney who was representing the father of the victim. I was contacted by him, met with him and the father of the victim in regard to the allegations, and was given several pieces of evidence that showed that this relationship had occurred,” said Sgt. Matthew Scott Adams with West Virginia State Police.

Redford was also previously employed as head of security at the Linsly School. That is allegedly where he met the victim, 17-years-old at the time.

According to the complaint, on August 8 of this year, the attorney representing the victim’s father had a conversation with Redford in which he made four demands, three of which were to resign with Wheeling PD, resign at the Linsly school, and to no longer contact the victim. In the call, Redford allegedly replied, “I’ll take care of it.” Redford resigned from both Wheeling PD and the Linsly School the next day.

He is currently not permitted to travel outside of a 30-mile radius of the city of Wheeling.

“We are aware of the charges, but understand they do not involve retired Lt. Redford in his capacity as a City of Wheeling Police Officer. I feel that it is highly inappropriate to comment beyond this as we are especially sensitive to the fact that this is an ongoing criminal investigation,” said Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger.

“He’s no longer an employee of the school. Linsly has worked with the law enforcement throughout the investigation,” said Stacey Creely, Director of Public Relations at the Linsly School.

“It’s remarkable how wolves can masquerade in sheep’s clothing. It’s a betrayal on par with Judas. Certainly Linsly School and Wheeling Police bear no fault at all in any of this, but actions have consequences and now there will be a reckoning,” said the victim’s father.

Redford posted a $100,000 bond Wednesday morning in Magistrate Court.

The case will now go to a preliminary hearing and possibly a jury trial. If convicted, Redford faces 10 to 20 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Stay with 7News for details as they become available.

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