Teen expected to testify in former RPD officer’s sex crimes trial

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RICHMOND, Va., -- The trial for a former Richmond Police officer charged with several sex crimes began in Richmond City Circuit Court, Tuesday morning.

Charles Church was indicted in May 2017 on two felony counts of sodomy of a victim under the age of 13, two felony counts of object sexual penetration of a victim under the age of 13 and indecent liberties with a child under the age of 15.

Investigators said Church sexually assaulted a juvenile female under the age of 13 on November 2, 2015.

Then, Church was accused of receiving child pornography last October 11 through November 4. His state charges were nolle processed so that the federal case could proceed.

In August 2016, Church filed a motion to suppress all evidence obtained from his tablet and laptop. He claimed the search warrants were “invalid.”

Earlier this month, all federal charges were dismissed after a judge ruled that the evidence gathered was obtained through an "illegal search," according to court documents.

The Commonwealth of Virginia then re-indicted Church on his most current charges.

Before jurors were selected during the first day of trial, prosecutors asked the judge that the victim be allowed to testified outside of the courtoom via closed circuit TV if she felt uncomfortable.

The judge said he would make that determination when the teenage victim appears on the stand.

Church served on the Richmond Police force for 12 years before the indictments.

The trial is scheduled to last three days.

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