Cop accused of soliciting from teen

YOUNGSTOWN – A city police officer remained at the Mahoning County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond on Friday after being accused of soliciting sex from a 14-year-old girl he met through work.

Sgt. Robert B. Lodwick, 40, was charged with one count of importuning, a felony of the fifth degree, and one count of illegally using a minor in nudity-oriented material – a photo – a felony of the second degree.

If he posts bond, he is to be released on electronically monitored house arrest.

Lodwick appeared for an arraignment Friday afternoon in Youngstown Municipal Court. Later, police officials called a news conference at the Youngstown Police Department to address the matter.

According to police officials, Lodwick met the 14-year-old girl while he was assigned to the Family Services Unit in the police department.

Officials said Lodwick then began soliciting the girl for sex.

Police reported that on May 30, the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of alleged criminal misconduct by Lodwick involving the girl. Sheriff Jerry Greene contacted Youngstown police on May 31 and a mutual decision was made by Greene and Youngstown police Chief Rod Foley to have the Attorney General Office’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation take the lead on investigating the accusation, officials said.

“We created our Crimes Against Children Unit for this exact reason,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “No one should prey on a child, particularly not someone who is in a position of authority and trust.”

Lodwick, who was hired May 8, 2000, was called off the road early Friday and arrested without incident about 3 a.m., police said.

He turned in his gun and was placed on administrative leave.

Lodwick was promoted to detective sergeant Dec. 7, 2012. He was assigned to the patrol division when he was arrested.

Foley said Lodwick was recently reassigned from the Family Services Unit to the night shift patrol as a supervisor because of some retirements on the force.