Former police officer arrested for alleged child seduction
Dwayne (Chris) Avis, a former police officer for the towns of Corydon and Georgetown, was arrested last week for two counts of alleged child seduction and one count of dissemination of matter harmful to minors. All three counts are felonies.
‘These charges stem from an alleged relationship between Mr. Avis and a juvenile female,’ Harrison County Prosecutor J. Otto Schalk said Monday afternoon. ‘Their alleged relationship began after Mr. Avis made contact with the juvenile acting in his official capacity as a Corydon police officer.’
Schalk said the juvenile was 16 or older during the relationship.
‘This is notable because the age of consent in the state of Indiana is 16,’ he said. ‘However, due to the extraordinary confidence and trust placed in certain positions, such as police officers or school teachers, Indiana mandates that individuals in those unique positions of trust not engage in sexual relations with individuals until they reach 18 years of age. Now, I understand that some individuals may find this is discriminatory to law enforcement and other positions; however, as the chief law enforcement officer, I understand, perhaps more than anyone, the tremendous amount of trust and power that’s bestowed upon these positions. I have previously enforced this law regarding a school teacher, and I will continue to enforce this law.’
Schalk continued, ‘Law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard. When those standards are breached, there are consequences that follow.’
Avis was in a probationary period with Georgetown after being hired in December. He is no longer with the department. He was an officer with the Corydon Police Dept. from 2013 to 2017 and was a corrections officer at the Harrison County Jail before that.
According to the Affidavit for Probable Cause, Indiana Dept. of Child Services Family Case Worker Randy Weilbaker contacted Detective Carrie Bowers of the HCSD about a report he received that alleged Avis had exchanged nude photographs with underage females. The report led to an interview of a 17-year-old girl that revealed an alleged sexual relationship between another female and Avis.
‘(Female) explained that Officer Avis pulled her over once and she was smoking marijuana,’ the affidavit said. ‘Officer Avis instructed (female) to put it out and she wouldn’t get in trouble. After that incident, Officer Avis added (female) on Snap Chat and they began communicating and eventually having sexual intercourse.’
In subsequent interviews, the female disclosed she had sexual intercourse with Avis two separate times, and Avis had sent nude photos of himself to her.
In an interview with Avis’ wife, she said she had heard of the female and stated several people have sent her messages and have approached her at home to let her know about the alleged relationship between her husband and the minor female.
Schalk reiterated that it was an ongoing investigation and asked that anyone with information to call the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. (812-738-2195) or prosecutor’s office (812-738-4241).
Avis was released on a $2,500 cash bond and is expected back in court on April 16.