WHEELING - Former Wheeling police officer Matthew Kotson's trial on charges of sexual abuse and assault has been moved to July following a motion from the defense attorney.
The January term of the Ohio County grand jury indicted 32-year-old Kotson on four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of burglary. Senior Status Judge Arthur Recht on Tuesday rescheduled his trial for July 17.
Defense attorney Robert McCoid and co-counsel Joe John recently replaced Keith Hart for circumstances unrelated to the case. John also represented Kotson during hearings before Wheeling's Police Civil Service Commission.
Photo by Tyler Reynard
Defense attorney Robert McCoid speaks in Ohio County Circuit Court on Tuesday while Matthew Kotson looks on.
Before Recht granted the defense's motion to continue, McCoid said he anticipates filing additional motions that may not be addressed until very near the original trial date of May 8. Special Prosecutor David F. Cross offered no objection.
Among those motions expected to be filed is one for relief from prejudicial joinder, in which the defense will seek to face the accusations of Kotson's four alleged victims during four separate trials.
One of the alleged victims told West Virginia State Police on Nov. 24 that Kotson sexually assaulted her at her home earlier that day. He was placed on leave the following day. During the investigation, all of the several women interviewed reportedly said Kotson was sexually aggressive, with one alleging he forced her to engage in non-consensual sex on three occasions.
State Police arrested Kotson Dec. 1 after he reportedly was seen peering in the window of St. Vincent de Paul Parish School in Elm Grove, where one of the witnesses in the case is employed. He was fired the next day.
Kotson remains free on $100,000 bond while awaiting trial.