Former West Virginia Police Officer and Firefighter Sentenced for Sexual Assault of a Minor
Christopher Osborne, 26, a former firefighter and police officer, was sentenced today in federal court in Charleston, West Virginia, to 14 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and registration as a sex offender under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. Osborne previously pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of a minor victim by forcibly raping her in a bunk room at the Danville Fire Department in Danville, West Virginia.
According to court documents, Osborne previously admitted that on or about Jan. 19, 2021, while he was an officer with the Marmet Police Department in Marmet, West Virginia, and a firefighter with both the Charleston Fire Department in Charleston, West Virginia, and the Danville Volunteer Fire Department, he used his position, authority, and status as a firefighter to forcibly sexually assault the victim. Specifically, Osborne admitted that the victim told him that she did not want to have sex, but he held her down and sexually assaulted her anyway, causing her pain and injury.
“This result is a testament to the courage of the victim who came forward to tell her story,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to seek justice for such victims, and to hold accountable perpetrators who abuse their authority to target the vulnerable.”
“The significant sentence imposed illustrates our strong commitment to prosecuting individuals who use their official authority to commit violent sexual assaults against minors,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa G. Johnston for the Southern District of West Virginia. “Osborne’s unlawful conduct constitutes a clear deprivation of the minor’s civil rights. I commend the minor victim for the courage and strength she has demonstrated throughout this case. I thank the FBI, the West Virginia State Police and the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office for their outstanding efforts.”
“Mr. Osborne’s actions were inexcusable and appalling,” said Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall of the FBI Pittsburgh Field Division. “The FBI will not stand by when people in positions of trust violate their oath and victimize innocent young children. Mr. Osborne abused his power and today’s sentence sends the message that we will continue to work to hold accountable public servants who fail the citizens of their community.”
The FBI Pittsburgh Field Division and its Charleston resident agency investigated this case with the support of the West Virginia State Police and the West Virginia Office of the State Fire Marshal. Trial Attorney Kathryn E. Gilbert of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S Attorneys Jennifer Herrald and Julie White for the Southern District of West Virginia prosecuted the case.