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Ex-officer in court on sexting charge

Updated: Friday, November 1 2013, 01:26 PM EDT

By Jennifer Black


HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va.--


The former Chester police officer facing a sexting charge was in Hancock County Magistrate Court Friday for a first appearance before Magistrate Michael Powell.


The 26-year-old told Powell that he is still in the process of obtaining an attorney, but should be able to obtain council by next week.


Prosecutor Jim Davis said he was not surprised that Eric Maruca did not appear without representation, considering he only turned himself into authorities on Monday on a felony charge of distributing obscene matter to a minor.


The charge stems from a criminal complaint filed in Hancock County Magistrate Court which states that in early September, Maruca sent a picture of his genitals to a 16-year-old girl.


According to the complaint, Maruca told the girl at one point that the nude photos would make things more comfortable when they met for sex.


“We'll take a look obviously before a grand jury to determine whether it will be one charge or more than one charge, but that's down the road,” Davis said.


Davis confirmed that in the criminal complaint, Maruca said that the girl told him that she was almost 18.


“That's the information that we have and I believe that to be accurate,” Davis said.


Chester police confirm that on Oct. 21, Maruca was fired from the department following an executive session of city council.


If Maruca is found guilty of the charge he currently faces, he could face five years in jail and  a $25,000 fine.


Magistrate Powell set a tentative preliminary hearing date for Nov. 15 at 10am.

Ex-officer in court on sexting charge


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