Woodward Appears in Court, Pleads Innocent

William Woodward, 37, of 86505 Black Road, Jewett, was arraigned in Harrison County Court this week.

Woodward was arrested Aug. 4 after a lengthy investigation by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.

Woodward faces 24 counts of disseminating and reproduction of sexually-oriented material involving a minor. Of those counts, 20 are felonies of the second degree and four are felonies of the fourth degree. At a previous hearing, it was stated that 493 videos involving minors were discovered inside the suspect’s home.

He entered a plea of innocent.

Woodward’s attorney, Steven Stickles, requested his bond be lowered. It was set at $1 million cash Aug. 8. Woodward shook his head upon hearing Prosecutor Michael Washington say he may be a flight risk and could present a risk to juveniles.

Stickles argued, saying Woodward has ties to the community.

“Looking over the indictment, 24 counts … none of which involve an allegation that my client actually touched a juvenile. It is my understanding that every allegation involving my client involves material found on the Internet and my client allegedly viewed that or forwarded it. As such, I do not feel Mr. Woodward is a true risk to society,” Stickles said.

He added the bond was excessive for someone who has no prior criminal record.

Judge Shawn Hervey lowered the bond to $550,000 cash. If Woodward posts bond, he will not be permitted to change his home address or phone number without notifying the court nor will he be permitted to have contact with individuals under age 18 or have a device which accesses the Internet.

Stickles said he will be filing a motion to have Woodward’s mental health evaluated. Woodward’s pre-trial hearing date has not been set.