Police officer facing sexual assault charges

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 3:05 PM EST
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BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A Marmet police officer and former Charleston firefighter is facing charges of sexual assault.

According to West Virginia State Police, Christopher Osborne, 25, faces two counts of second-degree sexual assault. Troopers say one of the victims is a juvenile.

According to the criminal complaint, on Jan. 25 troopers received a complaint about a sexual assault that happened at the Danville Fire Department.

“Very shocking to us, we never figured anything like that would happen here,” said Danville Fire Chief Justin Chafin. “It’s never happened here that I know of, I’ve been here for (over) twenty years (and) nothing like this has ever happened inside the fire station.”

The victim, a juvenile, told troopers she was sexually assaulted by Osborne in the bunk room at the fire department earlier that week.

The victim said Osborne forcibly made her engage in sexual intercourse against her will.

“We got what we could off of our video camera system here in the station to correlate with any events that may have occurred,” Chief Chafin told WSAZ. “(We) gave it to the state police, handed everything over that we could to them (to help with) their investigation. We’ve been fully cooperative with the West Virginia State Police the entire time and we’ll continue to do so through the process.”

Troopers reviewed surveillance footage which showed Osborne and the victim leaving the TV room of the department together and then entering the bunk room.

Chief Chafin said as soon as they were notified about the criminal investigation, they dismissed Osborne from the Danville Fire Department, where he has been an active member for the past nine years.

“We fully dismissed him from the department. He’s no longer a member here or associated with us or anything so we have nothing else with him,” Chafin said. “We’re very saddened to hear about it, very sympathetic and saddened toward the victim and her family. We just hope the restitution can come through the court system.”

WSAZ reached out to Marmet Police Department officials, who said they immediately suspended Osborne without pay when hearing about the investigation last Monday:

“We were made aware on Monday, February 1 by the West Virginia State Police that part-time Officer Chris Osborne was under criminal investigation. Pursuant with our policies, Mr. Osborne was immediately issued a letter of suspension pending the outcome of his investigation. The Marmet Police Department recognizes the serious nature of the allegations made towards Officer Osborne. Officer Osborne is afforded due process and the presumption of innocence until he is adjudicated by a court of law,” Marmet Police Chief John Perrine said in a statement.

The City of Charleston also released a statement on behalf of Charleston Fire Chief Shawn Wanner:

“Christopher Osborne was hired as a probationary firefighter on October 13, 2020. On January 26, 2021, the Charleston Fire Department became aware of an active criminal investigation against Mr. Osborne. He was immediately placed on unpaid leave and a CFD investigation was opened. Today, the City received a copy of warrants for Mr. Osborne’s arrest alleging he committed two felony offenses. Although the charges against Mr. Osborne are allegations at this point, law enforcement has determined that probable cause does exist and therefore our investigation found just cause to terminate his employment effective immediately. The Charleston Fire Department prides itself on employing men and women of good character that protect and serve the city and its residents.”

Osborne was arrested and taken to Southwestern Regional Jail.

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