SOUTHERN INDIANA (WHAS11) -- A southern Indiana police officer is accused of having sex with an underage girl and sending her nude photographs.
As WHAS11 News first reported Saturday at 11 p.m., 31-year-old Dwayne “Chris” Avis of Corydon was arrested Friday for two counts of child seduction and one count of dissemination of matter harmful to a minor.
Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Otto Schalk said Monday afternoon that the alleged criminal activity took place between January and September 2017, while Avis was employed by the Corydon Police Department.
“We have to hold people accountable,” Schalk said. "Just because you wear a gun and a badge doesn't mean you're above the law."
According to a probable cause affidavit, Avis added a teenage girl on Snapchat after he let her go from a traffic stop where he reportedly caught her with marijuana. The affidavit says the pair then began talking and eventually started having consensual sex.
Schalk said the victim, who is now 17, was at least 16-years-old throughout the relationship. Although Indiana’s age of consent is 16, state law mandates individuals placed in certain positions of trust, such as police officers or school teachers, not engage in sexual activity with those under the age of 18.
“The law is enacted and is in place to protect those who are weak from those who are powerful,” Schalk said.
The prosecutor declined to comment when WHAS11’s Kayla Moody asked whether any of the alleged criminal activity took place while Avis was on-duty.
Avis left the Corydon Police Department in late 2017. The Corydon police chief refused to comment on the investigation.
Schalk said Avis moved to the Georgetown Police Department last December, but he was fired in late January shortly after authorities served search warrants in connection to the child seduction case. The Georgetown police chief has not returned WHAS11’s requests for comment.
Avis appeared in court Friday afternoon, where he entered a not guilty plea. He was released after posting $2,500 bond.
The former officer is due back in court April 16 for a pre-trial hearing.