A Wheeling Park High School senior who was pulled from class and arrested by West Virginia State Police in September pleaded guilty Monday to sexually assaulting two girls younger than 10 years old.
Cody Brautigam, 19, of Wheeling pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sexual assault. Ohio County Circuit Judge David Sims sentenced Brautigam to two to 10 years in prison.
The judge suspended the prison time, however, in lieu of Brautigam spending six months to two years in the Anthony Correctional Center, a facility for youthful offenders. While there, Brautigam must go through the center's treatment program for sex offenders. If that program is completed to the court's satisfaction, Brautigam will be placed on probation for a yet to be determined time. Sims also ordered Brautigam to be placed on supervised release following completion of his sentence. The teen also must register as a sex offender for life.
Brautigam has remained in the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville on $100,000 bond since being arrested at the high school Sept. 27.
According to court documents, a 9-year-old girl told a sexual assault counselor earlier that month that Brautigam engaged in sexual behavior with her at her home in July. The girl said Brautigam touched and kissed her, sometimes while both were undressed, documents state.
The following day, an 8-year-old girl told the counselor that Brautigam on multiple occasions pulled her by her hair into a room, where he sexually abused her. Those alleged crimes occurred around the same time as those involving Brautigam's other accuser, the police report states.
State Police Sgt. Scott Adams said the investigation launched after the girls disclosed the allegations to personnel at their school. Child Protective Services interceded and subsequently contacted State Police. Adams was out of uniform when he arrested Brautigam at the high school. Adams made contact with the school's prevention resource officer, who pulled Brautigam from class.
Adams advised the student of the allegations against him, escorted him out of the building, then handcuffed and arrested him.