Former Bedford County SRO pleads guilty to having inappropriate relationship with teen

By Samantha Smith - Digital Content Producer, Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. - A Bedford County school resource officer pleaded guilty to having an inappropriate relationship with a teenager in Juvenile and Domestic court Friday. The media was not allowed in the courtroom.

State police started investigating Cpl. Daniel Clark last October and determined he contributed to the delinquency of a minor who attended Liberty High School, where he was the school's resource officer.

Text messages from Clark to the teenage girl in October say that he'll be home for the weekend and that he wants to "snuggle all day and just chill," according to search warrants.

He also stated that "he always wants her with him, he loves her and she needed to trust him" and that if they get caught, "they will be done," according to search warrants.

In addition to sending texts and Snapchats, Clark allegedly spent time with the girl at school in his office, the lunchroom, hallways, the gym and parking lot.

Clark resigned shortly after the complaint, according to the special prosecutor, Andrew Nester from Henry County. 

The special prosecutor says while there were messages alluding to sexual conduct from both the teen and Clark, there is no evidence of sexual relations between the two. 

"Mr. Clark got right up to the line. with some of his actions. He did not actually cross the line, there was no evidence that we found of sexual conduct." Nester said. "Anytime that you have a person that is in a supervisor authority especailly someone at a school or law enforcement capacity. We're not going to tolerate this type of activity."

The victim was not in court Friday and did not make an impact statement. 

Clark is not to have any contact with the victim or her family and must complete professional counseling to ensure incidents like this from happening again, according to Nester. 

Clark must also be on good behavior until November 5, 2021. On that date, the case will be taken into advisement.  

The Nester says if Clark complies with the agreement, the case will be dismissed. Until then, the case is ongoing. 

While the case could be dismissed, it cannot be expunged from his record per the plea agreement. The arrest and his fingerprint will stay on record for the rest of his life, according to the special prosecutor. 

Because Clark pleaded guilty, if he breaks this agreement, the special prosecutor says he will be sentenced. 

His attorney declined to speak with the media.

Virginia State Police officials say they have not investigated any more victims and they are not aware of any more victims. 

We reached out to the Bedford County Sheriff's Office for comment at the time this article was posted we had not heard back.

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