COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A Colerain police officer pleaded not guilty Friday to felony charges of soliciting sex from a minor.
A Butler County grand jury indicted Officer Robert Brinkman, 31, Thursday on two charges:
Importuning, which can describe a range of offenses in which the suspect solicits sex from an underage person. The indictment indicates the person in Brinkman's case is between 13 and 16.
Contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a person.
The statute defining importuning includes specific provisions for crimes involving law enforcement, including those in which an officer poses as an underage person to gain a real minor’s trust.
Butler County Common Pleas Judge Gregory Howard released Brinkman on his own recognizance but ordered the West Chester Township man to wear a GPS tracking device and not travel out of Butler County except for Cincinnati VA appointments for post-traumatic stress disorder. Brinkman was ordered not to have any contact with minors or the victim, and he is not allowed to have firearms.
"Brinkman has been suspended from duty while an internal investigation continues," Colerain police public information officer James Love wrote in a news release.
Brinkman joined the Colerain police in 2013. He previously served as a firefighter for nine years, and he served eight years in the military, according to his attorney.
The alleged offenses occurred July 6. Monroe police investigated, according to court documents.
"They're very serious charges mainly because he's a police officer," Norbert Nadel, former Hamilton County Common Pleas judge, told WCPO.
"They're very difficult cases for judges and lawyers and prosecutors because you want to think that we have the best people in law enforcement," Nadel said.
"Whether it's a judge that's in trouble, whether it's a police officer in trouble, no matter who's in trouble, it doesn't reflect well on the system, and people who are skeptical about the system start questioning it."
Brinkman is scheduled in court at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 1.