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MCKEESPORT (KDKA) — The former acting chief of the Versailles Volunteer Fire Department who has been accused of having sex with a minor is being held for trial.

Aaron Powell had a hearing Monday where prosecutors began to unravel the case against the former chief.

Police say McKeesport officers saw Aaron Powell and a 17-year-old girl engaging in sexual activities inside a vehicle parked in the 400 block of Water Street back in November.

The girl’s mother told police her daughter was friends with Powell’s 13-year-old daughter.

Police say during the investigation, they discovered Powell sent 1,067 text messages — including some with explicit photos and explicit language — to the 17-year-old during one week in November. Powell told police he initially got the girl’s phone number from his daughter’s cell phone.

According to defense attorney Blaine Jones, Powell thought the girl was 18 years old.

“I can tell you that Mr. Powell maintains that he was under the impression that the accuser on the case was 18 years of age. He thought that this was an adult, consensual relationship,” Jones said. “Mr. Powell has conveyed to me on several occasions that he thought she was 18 and that everything that he was doing was legal.”

At the end of the hearing, Powell requested a reduction in his $20,000 bond. The judge said because Powell had been living in a home where minors were present, he was denying his request.

Powell was held for court on all charges and will remain in the Allegheny County Jail.

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