Federal child porn charges proceed against RPD officer

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A federal judge ruled Friday there was probable cause to proceed with federal sex crime charges against Richmond Police officer Charles Church.

Church, a 12-year veteran of the Richmond Police Department, appeared haggard and pale in court; he’s been sitting in a Richmond jail cell since last year.

In court, 8News learned during a search of Church’s home a single child pornographic image was found on his LG tablet.

Detective Kevin Hiner with the Richmond Police Department’s Internet Sex Crimes Task Force found himself having to testify against one of his brothers in blue. Hiner said when he arrested Church, he admitted he owned the computer.

Church’s attorney, however, argue just because he owned the tablet doesn’t mean he downloaded the illegal images. She said others lived in that home and had access to the tablet; it was not password protected.

Still, the judge ruled there was probable cause to proceed.

Meanwhile, charges accusing Church of raping and sodomizing a 12-year-old girl have been withdrawn in Richmond Circuit Court so that the federal case can proceed. The charges are not entirely dismissed, however.

Most court documents in the federal case have been sealed to protect the alleged victim.

The Federal case now goes on to a grand jury.

UPDATE: Former RPD officer, Charles Church, has been indicted on 8 child porn possession charges in Richmond Federal Court.

His next hearing has been set for August 1 at 3 p.m.

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