Woman groped during traffic stop speaks out about ex-trooper’s conviction

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Brittany Crank is talking about a former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper, Christopher Ward, who was convicted Monday of sexual battery and other crimes.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

“Relieved. I’m really relieved for me and the other victims involved, that there’s closure now.”

RELATED: Ex-trooper convicted of multiple sex crimes

Brittany Crank is talking about a former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper, Christopher Ward, who was convicted Monday of sexual battery and other crimes.

She spoke with News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy on Tuesday night, nearly five years after she first told us about the trooper who groped while performing a pat down during a January 2015 traffic stop on U.S. 35 when she was just 18.

>> OSHP reviews ‘inappropriate touch’ complaint

“I called and said, ‘Dad, a police officer just touched me inappropriately,’” she recalled.

Her frustration grew with no one being charged with groping her.

“It felt like no one was listening for the longest time,” she said. “My voice wasn’t heard. I was less than a person.”

But after years wondering whether anyone would be held accountable, things began to change earlier this year.

Former trooper Christopher Ward was charged, then more accusers came forward.

All last week, News Center 7 was there for Ward's trial in Preble County Common Pleas Court.

>> DAY 1 COVERAGE: Defendant Ward rejected plea deal for fewer criminal counts  

>> DAY 2 COVERAGE: Defendant said he was grabbing for cat when he touched girl

>> DAY 3 COVERAGE: Ex-trooper trial: Third day begins with additional testimony

>> DAY 4 COVERAGE: Ex trooper trial: Christopher Ward takes stand in own defense

Crank was among those who testified and helped to convict him.

“It was good to be able to voice everything I had been through, but at the same time, it was very emotional. Drug up all kinds of emotion of just sadness, and anger, everything that you can imagine,” she said.

Then came Monday. Ward waived his right to a jury trial and so a judge delivered his verdict.

He was found guilty of one count of sexual battery and three counts of gross sexual imposition and was acquitted of one count of sexual battery and two counts of gross sexual imposition.

Ward will be sentenced Jan. 16.

“I do feel like justice was served,” Crank said.

The verdict has helped bring closure to a traumatic experience, she said. “I didn’t wake up today and drive down the road and pass state troopers and feel uncomfortable. I actually felt peace and just ... more comfortable in my own body and own space.”

This trial was not the only difficult thing Crank went through this year.

Her home in Trotwood got hit by the Memorial Day tornadoes. Over the summer she was living elsewhere, but now her home has since been repaired and she is back home for the holidays.

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