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Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:00 am

Police officer expected in court today

Facing charges for allegedly sending lewd pics to minors

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne police officer charged with child solicitation and other crimes for allegedly sending lewd photos to female high school students is scheduled to appear in court today. 

Andrew J. Beck, 47, was taken into custody at the Allen County Jail on Wednesday. He was held in California, where investigators said he was on military leave. 

He is charged with child solicitation, dissemination of matter harmful to minors and possession of child pornography. An initial court hearing was scheduled this morning in Allen Superior Court. 

A Wayne High School student told a school resource officer in April that another 16-year-old student was in a relationship with Beck, who was a part-time resource officer there. A Snapchat account owned by Beck included several photos, including one in which he is naked, court documents allege. 

Beck ran 37 other accounts he used to contact girls, investigators said. 

One girl told police in July that Beck “wanted to tie her up and choke her and have sex with her,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Beck was hired by the Fort Wayne Police Department in 2006, and agency spokeswoman Sofia Rosales-Scatena said he recently was moved to unpaid status. Police Chief Steve Reed will recommend Beck be fired, but the criminal case must first be decided, Rosales-Scatena said. 

The child solicitation charge carries a penalty of up to six years in prison, and each of the two other charges is punishable by up to 21/2 years behind bars if he is convicted. 

mleblanc@jg.net