Former YPD officer sentenced for soliciting sex

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A judge sentenced former Youngstown Police Sergeant Robert Lodwick to 18 months of prison time Wednesday in connection with a case in which he allegedly solicited sex from a fourteen-year-old girl.

Lodwick has already been in jail for about a year since his arrest, meaning he will only spend about six more months in prison, for a total of 18 months. Lodwick’s sentencing also includes five years of probation. He will have to register as a tier two sex offender and report the location of his residence to the local sheriff every six months for the next 25 years. Lodwick is also de-certified from serving as a police officer in Ohio.

Lodwick pleaded guilty Tuesday, May 6 to importuning.

His 14-year-old victim was permitted to speak in court Wednesday where she said Lodwick took advantage of her vulnerability.

“You know, I’ve been through so much and then having that happen too, it is just ridiculous,” she said. “He was almost a father figure to me but went behind my back and just completely did unthinkable things.”

Lodwick apologized in court for his actions and said his wife and son have suffered considerably, adding that they had to move out of the city because of death threats.

“I went through a lot in my life, ruined a lot of people’s, trust me,” said Lodwick.

Lodwick was investigating a case involving the statutory rape of the fourteen-year-old when he began soliciting sex from her, according to testimony from the girl’s mother and representing attorney. Authorities also charged Lodwick with having naked pictures of the girl.

After the girl’s mother reported the incident to authorities and the state’s Bureau of Identification and Investigation began their investigation, Lodwick sent instant messages to the girl’s computer while BCI agents were with the girl’s mother.

BCI agents then messaged Lodwick back, the girl’s attorney said, starting what eventually led to felony charges.

A police report from Feb. 15 said the girl’s mother told police the girl, then 13, snuck out of her Canfield home in the middle of the night and met with three men at Campbell High School.

The men, whose name the girl didn’t know, drove her to a home on Erie Street near Cardinal Mooney High School on Youngstown’s South Side. The girl told police she had sex with two men at different times early that morning, saying she “just went along with it” when they made advances, reports said.

Canfield police found the girl at Southern Park Mall in Boardman at about 3 p.m. that day, reports said.

Betras previously said the girl told him that before Lodwick showed her a photo lineup that would identify the men, Lodwick pointed out which man he believed was the suspect. Betras, a criminal defense attorney, said that would jeopardize the criminal case against the two men.

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