By Joe Gorman
A former city police officer pleaded guilty to child- pornography charges Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Robert Lodwick, 41, entered guilty pleas before visiting Judge Thomas Pokorny to one count of importuning, one count of pandering obscenity and one count of illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented performance.
A joint-sentence recommendation between defense attorney J. Gerald Ingram and assistant Attorney General Angela Canepa calls for a sentence of 12 months on the importuning and 18 months on the pandering charges to run concurrently to each other, as well as five years’ probation for the final charge, for a total of 18 months in prison.
Sentencing is set for 10 a.m. June 4.
Lodwick was indicted July 18 by a grand jury. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a count of importuning, one count of attempted pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor, and seven counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.
Lodwick, who worked for the department for 14 years, was fired June 14. The charges came after Mahoning County Children Services filed a complaint about his behavior with the sheriff’s office.
City police, sheriff’s detectives and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation looked into the complaint.
He was accused of soliciting a juvenile for sex between April 9 and May 23 and again June 6, just before he was to report for work on the midnight shift; he was also accused of taking pictures of a nude juvenile and viewing other pictures of a nude juvenile.
Lodwick was a detective sergeant who had just begun work as a patrol supervisor in March. Before that, he worked for the department’s Family Services Unit, whose work includes investigating crimes against juveniles. Police said the charges stem from an involvement with a juvenile whose case he was investigating when he was with the FSU.
He has been in the county jail since his arrest June 7.
As part of his plea agreement, Lodwick must register as a Tier II sexual offender every six months when he is released from prison, and he also will no longer be able to serve as a police officer.