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Firefighter arraigned on criminal sexual conduct charges

STURGIS, Mich. -- A Sturgis firefighter arraigned in a St. Joseph County, Michigan court Wednesday on four counts of criminal sexual conduct for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl.


According to court documents, in April, Sturgis Police and Fire administration learned firefighter Joshua Snyder may be having an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl.


He had allegedly been spotted hugging her in what appeared to be in an inappropriate manner and she allegedly visited him at the fire station on more than one occasion.


On April 23, 2014, the Deputy Fire Chief spoke with Snyder about the alleged inappropriate relationship, but said there were more instances even after that conversation.


On August 18, 2014, the Deputy Fire Chief and a police detective spoke with the parents of the alleged victim and the victim.


The victim allegedly admitted to having a sexual relationship with Snyder.


She told police the first time they kissed was on August 3, 2014 and that date was the password on her phone and on Snyder's phone.


She also told police she had sex with Snyder on August 16, according to court records.


The victim told police for the past year, Snyder had been making inappropriate comments and had hugged her on more than one occasion where she could tell he had an erection, according to court records.


Officers told the victim it appeared he had been "grooming" her for some time.


When officers spoke to Snyder on August 18, he declined to give a statement.


Snyder is on non-paid administrative leave from the department during the investigation.

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