PEABODY — A Peabody police officer repeatedly molested and showed pornography to his stepdaughter over a four-year period starting when the girl was just 11, prosecutors are alleging.
Frederick Wojick’s lawyer, meanwhile, contends that the “salacious, sensationalized allegations” by the girl, now a teenager, are retaliation because he disapproved of her boyfriend.
Wojick, an 11-year member of the Peabody force, pleaded not guilty to six counts of indecent assault and battery on a child and a charge of disseminating obscene material to a minor during his arraignment yesterday in Peabody District Court.
While prosecutors had sought $10,000 cash bail, noting Wojick’s ties out of state, Judge Matthew Nestor released Wojick on his own recognizance, without requiring him to post bail.
Wojick has been placed on suspension as a result of his arrest, which took place Thursday evening, according to Peabody Police Chief Robert Champagne.
The allegations came to light in mid-November, said prosecutor Kate MacDougall, after Wojick contacted a colleague on the force and told him that “his family life was in disrepair.”
Wojick complained to the fellow officer that “he should have been more of a father than a friend” to the girl, now 17, MacDougall said.
When the officer questioned whether there were any accusations of inappropriate behavior, he allegedly told him that he’d “joked around” with the girl and sometimes slapped her backside, but denied anything more serious.
But his colleague, following the department’s protocol, reported the conversation to his superiors, who began an investigation, said MacDougall, who is head of the Essex family and sexual crimes unit.
The girl initially denied that Wojick had done anything more than make inappropriate comments about her appearance, but three days later, in a subsequent interview, disclosed that starting shortly after her mother married Wojick, he told her she was his “favorite.”