UPDATE: Former Metro 911 Supervisor Indicted on Sex Abuse Charge

By: Brooks Jarosz, Anna Baxter Email
By: Brooks Jarosz, Anna Baxter Email

UPDATE 7/27/12 @ 3:45 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A former Metro 911 employee will be back in court next month after he was indicted by a grand jury.

Joseph Coen Jr. was indicted on sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian, and person in position of trust and third degree sexual abuse.

According to the criminal complaint, police say the victim is 16-years-old, but the abuse is said to have happened when she was 15.

Coen's arraignment is scheduled for August 21.



ORIGINAL STORY
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Metro 911 supervisor and dispatcher in Kanawha County has been suspended from his duties after he was arrested on a criminal charge.

Joseph "Joe" Coen, Jr, 51, of Charleston, was arrested and charged Thursday morning with sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian. He was arraigned a short time later in Kanawha County Magistrate Court in Charleston.

According to the criminal complaint, police say the victim is 16-years-old, but the abuse is said to have happened last year when she was 15.

"It's not all that uncommon for victims to wait a period of time before they feel comfortable to report to a loved one, a family member or to law enforcement," Prosecutor Mark Plants said. "This case is no different."

Police say Coen entered the victim's bedroom while she was sleeping and touched her inappropriately on the chest, several times.

According to the complaint, she told police when she realized what was happening Coen left and then later tried to apologize.

The victim told police this happened at least one other time, according to the complaint.

Police say when Coen was confronted by the victim's mother, he admitted to touching her.

"Both children and the elderly can't take care of themselves, often times," Plants said. "And those types of cases really pull at your heart strings and we have a special moral obligation to take care of those who can't take care of themselves."

During Coen's arraignment, his bond was set at $1,000 or 10-percent cash. Coen posted bond before he was taken to jail.

According to a source at Kanawha County Metro 911 Center, Coen works as a supervisor and dispatcher. He's been a dispatcher for more than 30 years. Before he joined Metro 911, he was a dispatcher for the city of Charleston, according to the source.

Metro 911 Board President Kent Carper released a statement shortly after Coen's arrest.

“It is with deepest regret I have learned of the charges against Mr. Coen,” president Kent Carper said. “I am directing staff to conduct an internal investigation into this matter.”

According to a news release, an internal investigation has been called and Coen was suspended with pay, pending his required cooperation in the internal investigation.

If convicted, Coen could face 10 to 20 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.


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