Veteran Peabody police officer Fred Wojick, who is accused of sexually abusing a young female family member over several years, has now been indicted by a grand jury and will face additional charges in the case against him.
The Salem News reports Wojick was indicted by an Essex County grand jury late last month on nine counts of indecent assault and battery on a child and two counts of disseminating obscene material (pornography) over a period of six years.
The indictment moves the case to Salem Superior Court, where Wojick could face harsher penalties if found guilty. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison on each charge.
The Salem News reports that three additional charges of indecent assault and battery were sought by prosecutors for alleged incidents of inappropriate touching by Wojick.
The victim in the case is now 17 and the alleged abuse began when she was 11, prosecutors said.
The case first came to light when Wojick confided in another Peabody police officer that his family life was in shambles and he indicated he may have behaved inappropriately toward the girl.
The teen's allegations -- repeated instances of both Wojick inappropriately touching her and having her touch him -- go far beyond the playful backside slapping Wojick admitted to his colleague.
Wojick was suspended from the force pending the outcome of the case and no date has been set yet for his arraignment in superior court.