|Randy Keith Cordle|
By GREG JORDAN
PRINCETON - A former Concord University police officer pleaded guilty Thursday in Mercer County Circuit Court to sexual abuse involving a minor.
Randy Keith Cordle, 47, of Athens, appeared for a plea hearing before Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope. Cordle was arrested in June 2012 and later indicted on one count of third-degree sexual assault and five counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian.
Cordle pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian, according to court documents. The felony charge carries a penalty of 10 to 20 years in prison, a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000, or both.
In the plea agreement, the state will dismiss the other charges and not oppose a motion for alternative sentencing, according to the plea documents.
Sgt. M.D. Clemons, of the West Virginia State Police Crimes Against Children Unit, said the victim was a family member.
“It (the abuse) started when she was 15,” Clemons said when Cordle was arrested. “He was in a caretaker role.”
Clemons added that the incidents occurred at Cordle’s residence, and no inappropriate behavior was alleged to have occurred at the university.
A criminal complaint filed in Mercer County Magistrate Court stated that the victim advised that she had sexual intercourse and engaged in other sexual acts with Cordle beginning in 2011 when she was 15.
The victim said the last instance of sexual intercourse happened at the Mercer County Airport in May 2012, while the previous incidents occurred at Cordle’s residence in the Lashmeet area, the complaint stated. Cordle admitted when Clemons interviewed him to having intercourse with the victim on multiple occasions, according to the criminal complaint.
Clemons said Concord University officials cooperated with her in the investigation.
Cordle no longer works for the campus police. Sentencing was set for April 15.