MARTINSBURG — A correctional officer with the Vickie Douglas Juvenile Center was terminated after being charged for allegedly showing inappropriate images to a 14-year-old child.
Casey Christopher Cottrell, 24, of Elmer Lane, Martinsburg, was charged with one felony count of use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.
The charges were filed after the Bureau of Juvenile Services referred the matter to the West Virginia State Police for investigation, as per its policy, according to Lawrence Messina, director of communication for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.
On Dec. 3, Cpl. J.D. See with the West Virginia State Police began investigating the allegations that Cottrell had inappropriate contact with a resident, court records said. He was allegedly having conversations with her that were sexual in nature and showed her inappropriate images.
The victim told police, according to a criminal complaint filed by See, that Cottrell had flirted with her by “discussing with her what they could do if she was on the ‘outs,’ “ by calling her sexy or cute and by making other inappropriate comments toward her.
She also alleged Cottrell showed her photographs of a female shirtless, but with a bra and underwear on, on his Apple Watch, court records said.
“Later that day, he again showed her more images and slid his finger across the screen until it displayed an image of him, with an emoji over his face and ... completely nude,” the complaint said.
Cottrell allegedly told police, “he was goofing off and joking with a resident, which in his mind he knew was wrong and could be used against him, but he figured she didn’t like it,” court records said.
Police said Cottrell advised he did show her images on his watch of a female posing in front of a mirror clothed, and then there was the photograph of his genitalia that he claimed was an accident. He also allegedly denied any comments about messing around with the juvenile.
During other interviews, Cottrell allegedly admitted to showing the minor two pictures of the female in her underwear and a picture of his naked body, court records said.
He also allegedly told the minor that she was cute for her age, allegedly told her to leave her bra off when she came out of the shower and allegedly talked about there being no cameras in “time out,” according to the complaint.
Messina said Cottrell was terminated on Dec. 4 as a result of the investigation.