Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 9, 2014

Former Princeton police officer arrested in Greenbrier County

LEWISBURG — A former Princeton Police Department officer who pleaded guilty in Mercer County to attempted sexual abuse of a minor was recently arrested in Greenbrier County and charged with contributing to the delinquency or neglect of a child.

Christopher Scott Winkler, 27, of Union was arrested after police started searching for a 15-year-old girl in Lewisburg whose mother reported her missing, according to an arrest report filed in Greenbrier Magistrate Court by Patrolman A.L. Workman, Lewisburg Police Department.

Workman stated that during the search, he located a black SUV in which the girl’s boyfriend had been seen. He approached the vehicle when it stopped and saw Winkler, who was its driver. Workman asked Winkler if he had seen the missing girl.

“Upon being asked the question, the defendant (Winkler) became very nervous and stated he did not know where she was,” Workman wrote in his report. Winkler said he had been at the girl’s apartment complex, Lewis Terrace, earlier that day and had been asked to give her a ride to a friend’s home in Caldwell.

The boyfriend was later questioned. He said he had asked Winkler to give the girl a ride to Caldwell “because her mother was looking for her and she needed to go to Caldwell to a friend’s house so her mother couldn’t find her” and that “he had full knowledge that she was running away from her mother,” Workman said in the report.

Winkler was charged Feb. 6 with a misdemeanor offense of contributing to the delinquency or neglect of a child, according to the report. The offense carries a fine of $50 to $500, up to a year in the county jail, or both. The alleged incident was reported Feb. 1.

In October 2012, Winkler appeared in Mercer County Circuit Court and entered into a plea agreement in which the state agreed to dismiss a charge of attempted sexual abuse by a guardian or custodian. At that time, Circuit Judge William Sadler told Winkler that if he violated the terms of his probation, it would be revoked. He would then face an indeterminate term of one to 10 year imprisonment.

A hearing would be held to determine whether the terms of probation had been violated.

Winkler was charged in March 2011 with attempted sexual abuse of a minor by a custodian or guardian and solicitation of bribery. The charges were filed after an incident that occurred March 1, 2011 in a parking lot near the intersection of Route 20 and Route 104 in the Princeton city limits. In a criminal complaint filed by the West Virginia State Police, Winkler allegedly “attempted to negotiate sexual favors” from a 17-year-old male subject.

Winkler was suspended from the Princeton Police Department the day after the incident, Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash said at the time of Winkler’s arraignment. Winkler resigned from the department soon afterwards.

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