Md. cop facing trial, allegedly had sex with York-area teen
A 40-year-old Maryland police officer who lives in York County is now facing trial for felony crimes related to an alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
Nicholas C. Bonsall, of Mineral Drive in Jackson Township, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 15.
He declined comment Tuesday afternoon as he left the office of District Judge Thomas Reilly. Defense attorney Dean Reynosa also declined comment.
Bonsall remains free on $75,000 unsecured bail. His formal arraignment in York County Court is scheduled for Sept. 22.
As Reilly was accepting Bonsall's waiver form, he said he was adding a condition to Bonsall's bail that forbids the officer from using or possessing a device that can access the internet.
Reynosa told the judge that condition has already been imposed through the York County Adult Probation Department as part of Bonsall's supervised bail.
Job search: The defense attorney then asked Reilly whether he would consider allowing Bonsall to use the internet to search for jobs.
"Can someone look over his shoulder?" Reynosa asked, such as Bonsall's father.
"Do you really think if he was in violation of his bail conditions that his father would turn him in?" a dubious Reilly asked before denying the request.
Cpl. Shawn Vinson, director of media relations for Baltimore County Police, said Bonsall is a detective first-class with the department and has been a Baltimore County officer for 15 years.
Bonsall is currently suspended without pay, Vinson said.
He remains charged with the third-degree felonies of unlawful contact with a minor/providing obscene materials and disseminating sexually explicit material to a minor as well as the misdemeanor of corruption of a minor.
The allegations: Northern York County Regional Police filed the charges July 20.
Police began investigating in April, after the 16-year-old's friend alerted them to an alleged sexual relationship between the girl and Bonsall.
Police interviewed the 16-year-old, who initially was afraid she was "going to get in trouble," documents state, but officers told her she wasn't in trouble.
She said she and Bonsall started having contact through Facebook and Snapchat in June 2016 and that they started sending nude photos of themselves to each other when she was 15 years old, documents allege.
Texted nude photos: The teen also confirmed that she and Bonsall started having sex sometime around her 16th birthday and said he sent her "a lot" of photos, including some of his penis, as well as videos of him masturbating, according to charging documents.
Bonsall told the girl she "had a great body" and asked her to send nude photos to him, which she did, police allege.
Forensic analysis of Bonsall's two cellphones found evidence of texts that contained sexually explicit or obscene images, documents state.
'Daily contact': Police said Bonsall and the girl had daily contact, including before he left for work and late at night in his driveway.
"Bonsall would inform her when his wife was not home so they could meet up," charging documents state.
One of Bonsall's cellphones showed a search he did just before police began investigating, for "does deleting my Snapchat account get rid of saved ... messages in the other person's chat," documents state.
Not child rape: Bonsall's alleged victim was 16 when they purportedly started having sex, and she consented, according to charging documents.
In Pennsylvania, a minor who is 16 or 17 years old can legally consent to having sex with an adult as long as that adult has no position of authority over them. That's why Bonsall wasn't charged with child rape.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.