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Maryland trooper charged with offering to pay teen for sex - Newark Post: In The Region

Maryland trooper charged with offering to pay teen for sex

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Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 4:12 pm

A now-fired Maryland State Police trooper is facing prostitution charges after he allegedly tried to pay a 16-year-old female Maryland high school student for sex, police reported late Friday afternoon.

Investigators with the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office arrested the suspect ― Joshua Michael Wright, 21, of Elkton, Md. ― on Thursday, according to Lt. Michael Holmes, a spokesman for the CCSO.

Wright, who was released after posting a $1,500 bond, is charged with sexual solicitation of a minor for purposes of prostitution, solicitation of prostitution and two counts of attempted obstruction of justice, Holmes reported.

On Friday afternoon, MSP officials fired Wright, who had graduated from the State Police Academy in July after serving as a cadet since February 2011, when his MSP employment started, police said.

Wright, who was assigned to patrol duties at MSP’s Easton Barrack, had been suspended with pay since Nov. 28, when CCSO detectives started investigating the allegations against him, police added.

“The type of behavior in the allegations will not be tolerated,” Greg Shipley, an MSP spokesman, said during a phone interview on Friday afternoon.

All MSP troopers remain at a probationary status for 18 months after graduating from the police academy, Shipley noted.

According to investigators, Wright texted the girl on Nov. 27, offering to give her an undisclosed sum of money in exchange for “sexual acts.” At the time of his alleged solicitation, Wright was not on duty, police reported.

“The suspect was familiar with the girl through a common acquaintance,” Holmes explained, noting, “This was an off-duty incident.”

Later that day, when an unidentified 16-year-old boy confronted the trooper about his alleged advances toward the girl, Wright offered the boy an undisclosed sum of money not to report his alleged solicitation to authorities, police reported.

The girl later reported the text message to school personnel, who, in turn, contacted authorities, Holmes said.

To prevent the disruption of school activities, investigators are not identifying the Cecil County high school that the teen attends.

A Cecil County grand jury handed up the four-count indictment against Wright on Wednesday, a day before investigators arrested him, and a judge lifted the charging document’s secret status on Friday, making it public record.

The indictment lists the teenaged girl and boy as the victims.

It lists two different places near Port Deposit as the locations where Wright allegedly committed his four offenses. Three of his alleged offenses – sexual solicitation of a minor, solicitation of prostitution and attempted obstruction of justice – occurred at one of those Port Deposit-area places, according to the charging document. Wright’s second alleged attempted obstruction of justice offense took place at the other location near Port Deposit, the indictment shows.

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