By John Castelluccio
Peabody police officer Fred Wojick was cleared of charges Monday morning in a sexual molestation case involving a young female family member.
The Salem News reports a jury in Lawrence Superior Court found Wojick, 49, was not guilty after hours of deliberation both Friday and Monday. Wojick, a Peabody native, is a veteran officer and didn't have a prior criminal record.
He was charged with nine counts of indecent assault and battery on a minor and two counts of disseminating pornography. Prosecutors said the alleged abuse spanned six years, starting when the girl was just 11.
The teenage victim took the stand before jurors last week, offering great detail of alleged sexual behavior and comments toward her by Wojick as well as having her watch adult pornography with him. Her mother also testified she was aware of the situation, but never filed a complaint, fearing retribution.
Wojick did take the stand as well, saying the teen fabricated the entire story, likely as an act of revenge over a boyfriend he did not approve of and because he didn't intervene when the boyfriend was arrested for drunken driving.
The Salem News reported that Wojick's attorney Thomas Drechsler also introduced evidence -- social media activity -- by the victim that he argued was inconsistent with the behavior and attitude of someone traumatized by the alleged abuse. Prosecutors argued, however, that evidence was open to interpretation.
The trial lasted just over a week in Lawrence Superior Court. The allegations were first brought to the attention of authorities in November 2012.
Wojick has been suspended from duty for the duration of the case.