DELBARTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — A former Delbarton police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl while he was still on the force.
“It’s very disappointing, to say the least,” said West Virginia State Police Sgt. Andy Perdue.
Jonathan New, 27, is accused of having sexual relations with a minor last November and December.
The 15-year-old isn’t alone, according to State Police, who say a total of three victims came forward.
“When you’re sworn to uphold the law, and you violated all those ethics codes and the law itself, most police officers don’t condone that, especially me,” Delbarton Police Chief Earl Spence said.
New was suspended from his job in February and fired a week later.
“I took appropriate action to make the public safe again,” the chief said. “We’ll do so again in the future if that ever happens again.”
Those who live in Delbarton and knew Officer New say the news came as a big shock.
“It really kind of blew me away,” Lilly Hall said. “It’s hard to believe it. I’m just really going to pray for him.”
“He’s always been really nice,” Cole Crum said. “He’s been a really good friend, so it is a surprise.”
State Police say possible charges from the other two alleged victims will be dismissed as part of the plea deal.
New is out on bond. He registered Tuesday on the sex offender registry.
He could face one to five years in prison. He’s expected to be sentenced within a month.
ORIGINAL STORY 5/17/16 @ 2:03 p.m.
DELBARTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — A former police officer from Mingo County pleaded guilty Tuesday to third degree sexual assault of a minor, according to West Virginia State Police.Jonathan New, 27, of Mingo County, was a police officer with the Delbarton Police Department when the allegations surfaced.
New is accused of having sexual relations with a minor. It allegedly happened between November of 2015 and December of 2015.
Troopers say three people came forward with allegations. According to state police, New pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting one minor, a charge that was in the information document filed in Mingo County Circuit Court.
Delbarton Police Chief Spence says he was made aware of the allegations in February. Spence says he then asked New to turn in his shield, I.D. and weapon. New was placed on administrative leave and later fired on Feb. 23 according to Spence. The chief tells WSAZ he believes New was a “danger to the public.”
Spence says he then contacted Chuck Saddler with Law Enforcement Professional Standards (LEPS) to have New’s certification revoked.
Spence says Delbarton PD is fully cooperating with West Virginia State Police in its investigation.
Troopers say New turned himself in Tuesday and was placed on the sex offender registry.
New has since made bond and troopers say he will likely be sentenced within a month.
West Virginia State Police are investigating.