Ex-cop charged with abusing kids while on duty

AP News
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Posted: Sep 06, 2014 2:31 PM

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are asking people to step forward if they believe they were assaulted as children by a Flint police sergeant who is charged with sexual misconduct while on duty in the 1990s.

Lawrence Woods, now 66 and retired, appeared in court Friday on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was returned to jail without bond.

"There were incidents inside the police department and out on the street in police vehicles and on city property," Sgt. Karl Petrich said.

Searches at four homes where Woods has lived or stayed revealed hundreds of images of child pornography taken by him, Petrich said.

Two women claim Woods sexually assaulted them when they were minors, but police are looking for more potential victims, Petrich said.

"We understand the allegations are very serious," defense attorney Frank Manley told The Flint Journal (http://bit.ly/1uDoJYz ). "Obviously, we are in the initial portion of our investigation, but we expect to have a successful outcome."

A hearing to determine if there's probable cause to send Woods to trial is set for Oct. 2. If convicted, the mandatory minimum sentence would be 25 years in prison.

The Journal reported that Woods joined the Flint department in 1975, although the year of his retirement was not immediately known. He was honored by a homeowners association in 1986 for capturing burglary suspects while working as a part-time security guard.

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Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint