BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – A former school resource officer at Liberty High School has pleaded guilty for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
According to a criminal complaint, Daniel Clark text messaged an underage girl who attended Liberty and invited her to his home. According to the complaint, the text message, which was sent October 2018, suggested the two could “snuggle all day and just chill”.
The court document also says Clark told the girl he wanted to be with her and that he loved her.
According to Andrew Nester, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Henry County, who prosecuted the case, Clark will have the charges dismissed if he successfully completes the terms of the plea agreement. Those terms include not having any contact with the victim or the victim’s family unless they formally invite him to do so through certified mail, completing counseling services by a licensed professional, and maintaining good behavior.
If Clark fails to complete the terms of the plea agreement, he will be found guilty of the charge. If he successfully completes those terms by November 5, 2021, charges against him will be dismissed. Nester noted that the charge will not be expunged, meaning the charge will appear in criminal background checks as dismissed.
“Mr. Clark got very, very close to the line but never crossed it in a sexual context,” said Nester. ” The text messages were never sexually explicit,” he said. Nester also added that the plea agreement was discussed in detail with the victim’s family and they agreed to the terms.
Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown issued the following statement:
“We will continue to conduct a full field investigation on any applicant being considered for a position with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, followed by a polygraph examination, a psychological exam and a physical. We will also request, from school officials, that any hint of impropriety on the part of a SRO, or teacher, be reported to our internal affairs Sergeant as soon as possible.
This is no deviation from what we have been doing over the past years that I have been sheriff.”