WASHINGTON, D.C. (WOWK) – A former West Virginia firefighter and police officer facing sexual assault charges in the Mountain State is also now facing federal charges, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The US DOJ says a federal grand jury in West Virginia returned an indictment charging Christopher Osborne, 25, with civil rights offenses including allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old female minor while acting under color of law, allegedly destroying the property of a 49-year-old woman without lawful justification, allegedly using fire to commit a felony and allegedly making false statements to investigators.
The actual charges against Osborne in the indictment include two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, one count of using fire to commit a felony and one count of witness tampering.
For the first count, the DOJ says Osborne is accused of allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old, resulting in bodily injury to her, in January 2021 while he was still a firefighter and police officer. The offense includes alleged aggravated sexual abuse, attempted aggravated sexual abuse, kidnapping and attempted kidnapping.
According to a criminal complaint from early February, the victim reportedly told officers Osborne led her into the bunk room at the Danville Volunteer Fire Department and forced her to engage in sexual intercourse against her will.
The second count alleges that in November 2019, he allegedly destroyed the property and home of a 49-year-old woman “without lawful justification” including the use and attempted use of fire, the DOJ says. The third account of using fire to commit a felony also stems from this alleged conduct.
The DOJ says in the fourth county, Osborne is accused of allegedly knowingly engaging in “misleading conduct” toward investigators and intending to hinder a federal investigation by denying engaging in any sexual contact or act with the 16-year-old victim.
In February, Osborne was terminated from the Danville Volunteer Fire Department and the Charleston Fire Department and placed on leave by the Marmet Police Department.
According to the DOJ, the counts carry maximum penalties of:
- First count: Life imprisonment
- Second count: 10 years
- Third count: 10 years
- Fourth count: 20 years
In February, authorities also said Osborne was facing charges of Second Degree Sexual Assault. That criminal complaint states Osborne allegedly forced a female victim to have sexual intercourse at a home in Madison, WV. The victim and a female witness both provided statements to police. Authorities say the witness also claimed she had been propositioned to participate, but declined.
Anyone with information regarding Christopher Osborne or this case is asked to contact the FBI’s Charleston Resident Agency at 304-346-2300.