BELOIT, Wis. - As police continue to investigate allegations that a retired Beloit police officer has repeatedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl, more charges could be possible involving the FBI, the police chief said Tuesday during a news conference.
Beloit police Chief David Zibolski said the department received a report of sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl on Saturday morning, and 13 hours later arrested 62-year-old Larry Woods on suspicion of repeated sexual assault of a child. Police said the girl's mother was the person who contacted police.
"This investigation is more than an allegation," Zibolski said. "I think we have seen enough corroboration of the information that has been obtained from the victim to lead us to this point."
Woods appeared in Rock County court Tuesday afternoon via video conference. Court Commissioner Larry W. Barton ordered a $100,000 signature bond. He also ordered that Woods not have any contact with the victim, and he can't possess any weapons.
Assaults took place in SUV, hotel rooms, complaint says
Woods is accused of assaulting the girl for about seven months.
According to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday, the girl’s mother found inappropriate videos of the girl and Woods on a cellphone. The girl told police that Woods had sexual contact with her more than 100 times between November 2017 and Saturday either in his SUV or in various hotel rooms in Beloit and Rockford, Illinois.
Police found records of Woods' stays at hotels in both cities, according to the complaint. A worker at a Beloit hotel remembered Woods staying there in a one-bed room with a girl he believed was his teen daughter, the complaint said.
The girl told police Woods told her not to tell anyone about the sexual assaults because, "He said he didn't want to get in trouble and he knows he would go to jail."
Zibolski said the department is working with police across state lines investigating the possibility that Woods took the girl out of state for "immoral purposes," which would be a violation of a federal law.
Woods retired as a patrol officer from the city of Beloit Police Department in 2007. He has most recently been working as a security guard with the School District of Beloit and the Beloit Public Library, according to the release. Officials said he has been placed on administrative leave from the library.
Police said in cases like this, sometimes more victims come forward after an initial report.
“A lot of times, youth are reluctant to come forward. But certainly our department takes those things very seriously and we handle them very professionally,” Zibolski said. "This is an individual that was in a trusted position previously, and ... people may view what would otherwise be innocent observations and conduct in a different light now that these allegations have surfaced."
Anyone with information regarding Woods is asked to contact Beloit police at 608-757-2244.
The Rock County Sheriff's Office made the decision to have Woods held in Dane County because of his prior role as police officer and current role as security guard, police said.
If convicted, Woods faces up to 40 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.