PREBLE COUNTY — A former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper is facing additional sex charges, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
A Preble County grand jury indicted Christopher Ward on two counts of sexual battery charges with a sexually violent predator specification Monday.
Ward previously was charged with three counts of gross sexual imposition.
A misdemeanor charge of GSI also was increased to a felony Monday, according to the attorney general’s office.
In total, Ward is facing five felonies involving four alleged victims.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
Three of the incidents involving three women reportedly took place during his employment as a state trooper. The fourth victim involved is a minor.
The new charges stem from two incidents between January 2016 and December 2017, according to Preble County court documents.
The incidents happened when the alleged victims were “in the custody of the law and the said Christopher Ward was the law enforcement officer with disciplinary authority,” according to the court documents.
The other charges stem from the incidents on Jan. 17, 2015, and March 17, 2018.
One of those incidents reportedly took place while Ward was on duty.
“These additional charges speak to a behavior of repeated, predatory sexual assault,” Attorney General Dave Yost said. “Our call for victims to speak out has been answered as more women have come forward – but at every turn, this story grows more tragic.”
Ward’s trial was scheduled to begin September, according to court documents.
It is not clear if the trial will be rescheduled due to the new charges.