EATON, Ohio (WDTN) – On the first day of the a bench trial for a former Ohio State Patrol trooper, victims and two of the trooper’s daughters testified.
Christofer Ward faces seven felony charges. He faces two counts of sexual battery with sexually violent predator specifications. Those are third degree felonies. He faces five counts of gross sexual imposition. Those charges are fourth degree felonies.
Tuesday started with opening statements from both the state and the defense. Testimony from victims took up a majority of the day.
Among those victims was a teen accusing Ward of touching her under her shorts while in his home. The victim said she was at the home for a sleep over with Ward’s daughter. She said Ward was intoxicated the night of the assault.
The victim said she did not speak up during the assault for fear of what Ward would do. “I knew he worked for the law. I was scared,” she said.
Attorneys for Ward argued her testimony was inconsistent with earlier statements. They said her comments about where Ward had placed his hands in the court room, and after preparing the testimony with an attorney, were more detailed than what she’d originally reported.
The victim’s sister and mother also testified. The mother said she’d never met Ward prior to dropping her daughter off at his home. She said that was out of character for herself adding that she always met parents before dropping her daughter off anywhere. This time, she felt her daughter was safe at the home because he was a trooper.
Also on the stand Tuesday was Ward’s daughter. She said she was at home when the teen victims says she was assaulted. Ward’s daughter said the teen victims told her via text message that Ward had touched her under her shorts. She said she was embarrassed and found it difficult to take in. “I* wasn’t sure I wanted to believe it just for the fact that that was my dad. That is my dad,” she said.
The trial is scheduled to last four days. If found guilty on all counts, Ward could face life in prison. Court starts back up at 8:45 am Wednesday.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Ward is a trooper assigned to the Piqua District HQ and has been employed by the State of Ohio since 1998.