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Portland officer accused of traveling to Avon to meet underage girl

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Posted at 3:29 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-16 12:02:37-04

AVON — A police officer from Jay County was suspended on Friday after allegedly attempting to meet a decoy posing as an underage girl in Avon, according to the Avon and Portland Police Departments.

A Portland Police Department officer, identified as Joshua Clark, was allegedly in contact with a decoy posing as a 14-year-old girl. According to the Avon Police Department, the Portland police officer and underage girl arranged to engage in sexual conduct in Avon.

The group behind the decoy goes by "Predator Catchers" who posted an hour-long video of the entire encounter with the Portland officer on Thursday. In the video, Clark is heard stating he is 30 and calling himself an "idiot."

"Any crime allegedly committed against a child is appalling; one involving a law enforcement officer is completely unacceptable," the Portland Police Department stated in relation to the investigation involving one of their officers.

"The Portland community can be assured the officers of the Portland Police Department will be held accountable for their actions."

While both the Avon and Portland police departments report they are investigating the claims against Clark, his whereabouts are unknown at the time of this report.

"While the whereabouts of Mr. Clark are unknown at this time, we are working closely with the Portland Police Department as they have been 100% cooperative with our agency regarding this matter," the Avon Police Department stated in relation to the investigation.

"While an incident such as this can certainly shake the confidence of law enforcement, we assure you of our commitment to (investigate) all claims with the highest standards of integrity," Avon PD's statement read. "The complexities of our legal system demand a thorough investigation of the evidence to bolster the filing of any criminal charges and to endure the arduous legal process that will follow. Please be patient with our team and know that we are committed to the highest standard of integrity and accountability for all."