Former KSP trooper pleads not guilty to misdemeanors

Official misconduct involving an under-aged girl. Former Kentucky State Trooper Donald Crawford answered to three misdemeanor charges Thursday in Livingston County District Court.

Crawford faces two counts of official misconduct in the first degree and one count of attempting to tamper with a witness. All these charges are considered misdemeanors, but could mean 12 months in jail or $500 in fines. Kentucky State Police say Crawford’s sudden resignation prompted them to investigate the circumstances around his decision to leave.

The Commonwealth Attorney at the time, G.L. Ovey determined Crawford wouldn’t face any felony charges. The Commonwealth Attorney’s office also appointed a special prosecutor in the case because the county attorney recused himself. More details were released Thursday from Crawford’s arraignment.

Trooper Crawford did not say much at his court appearance, and his defense lawyer, Del Pruitt maintains Crawford’s innocence until proven guilty. He says he’s thoroughly reviewed Crawford’s entire file. He says, “Nothing, even if you believe everything that was done in the internal investigation comes out to a felony.”

The criminal complaint summons against Crawford cites two counts of official misconduct. It says Crawford pulled over two girls and allowed them to continue driving, knowing they were intoxicated. The summons says Crawford pulled them over a second time, and then kissed and inappropriately touched one of the girls.

Pruitt claims Crawford was asked by KSP to leave his position, “He was asked to resigned which is significant punishment in itself.”

Special Prosecutor, Clint Prow says given the nature of Crawford’s charges, the law holds Crawford to a higher standard, “An average citizen cannot be charged with official misconduct you have to be person of some type of government office or authority to be charged with official misconduct so the fact that he was a police officer is why he has those two counts of official misconduct.”

Pruitt told me this is a special case, and has even hired three private investigators in the case. While I was at the courthouse I did ask Crawford if he would like to comment, but he declined.

Crawford’s pretrial conference is scheduled for February 26th, but is tentative to change.

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