A former West Virginia State Police trooper accused of soliciting two 16-year-old girls for sexual relations and nude photos waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.
The waiver was filed Monday on behalf of John Anthony Donohue, 24, who was due to appear before Magistrate Joan V. Bragg Tuesday for a preliminary hearing on one felony count of soliciting a minor, according to court documents.
Donohue is being represented by defense attorney B. Craig Manford. With the waiver, the case was bound over to circuit court, where the prosecution can present evidence to a grand jury.
Donohue, of 124 Winslow Court, Martinsburg, resigned from the state police at the end of March, a spokesman for the law enforcement agency said.
Donohue is accused of engaging in sexual contact with one of two girls on March 18 at his residence, where he attempted to engage in sexual contact with both, according to court documents.
"The accused, who was approximately eight years older than both minor females, was repeatedly presented with statements and other warning signs, which should have drawn his attention to the fact that these two females were under the age of 18," State Police Sgt. D.E. Boober said in his complaint against Donohue.
Boober reviewed text messages from the girls to Donohue, primarily in a six-day period, in which Donohue repeatedly sought a sexual relationship with at least one of the girls and also requested nude photographs of them, according to court records. There also were face-to-face conversations that included discussions about one of the females graduating from high school this year. Additionally, Boober found that a Facebook profile for one of the girls listed her as a 2011 Hedgesville High School graduate and her date of birth making her younger than 18, according to court documents.
Donohue was released on $10,000 bond after his arraignment, according to court records.
— Matthew Umstead