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Ex-Kanawha dispatcher pleads guilty to stepdaughter sex abuse

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A longtime Kanawha County Metro 911 dispatcher admitted Thursday to sexual abuse charges linked to the fondling of his teenage stepdaughter.Joseph Coen Jr., 52, of Sissonville, pleaded guilty before Kanawha County Circuit Judge James C. Stucky Thursday to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse.Coen was arrested in January on allegations that he went into the bedroom of a 16-year-old girl and touched her breasts while she was sleeping. He then allegedly kissed her breasts and rubbed her stomach with his hands, according to a magistrate court complaint.When the girl realized what was happening, Coen left the room and returned later to apologize, the complaint states. The girl's mother confronted Coen afterward. The girl told police that Coen had rubbed her breasts on another occasion.
Coen originally was charged with sexual abuse by a parent or guardian, which carried a five- to 15-year prison term. He faces a two- to 10-year sentence on the two sexual-abuse charges and must register as a sex offender."I spoke to the victim, the young girl, and her mother, and as is often the case in these types of crimes, the victim does not want to testify," Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Charles Miller said. "That's what their desires were."Coen is free on bail and has been suspended from his employment at the 911 call center since his arrest. Miller said Coen was fired from the job Sept. 1. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 1.Metro 911 interim director Johnny Rutherford did not respond to a request for comment.Reach Zac Taylor at or 304-348-5189.
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