Sturgis firefighter fired for sexual misconduct


A southwest Michigan firefighter is now off the job following his arrest on criminal sexual conduct charges.

36-year-old Joshua Snyder was fired Friday after making his first court appearance Wednesday.

Sturgis Police say Snyder had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.

They say other firefighters started becoming suspicious back in Apri, but the girl says they only had sex earlier this month.

The St. Joseph County, Mich. undersheriff said the incidents surrounding the case occurred when the firefighter was instructing a class at Sturgis High School and was in a position of authority.

He has been with the city's fire department for more than four years and has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

According to court documents, on August 18, a detective from the Sturgis Police Department informed the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department of the alleged inappropriate relationship between Snyder and the teen.

Information shows there were a few incidences when Snyder was seen hugging the victim in what appeared to be an inappropriate way.

Firefighters also were concerned that Snyder saw the teen during the evening hours.

Deputy Fire Chief Andrew Strudwick called Snyder in for a meeting on April 23, 2014 and advised him of the concerns he had in reference to the alleged relationship. Court documents say Strudwick laid down the ground rules to ensure Snyder would not have the teen come to the fire station. The deputy chief also spoke with Snyder about his contact with girls, including the girl in this case.

Information from Sturgis Police and Fire also shows since the April meeting with Strudwick, Snyder had been seen driving around in his car and spending unknown amounts of time with (teens) while the rest of his family was out of town in Arizona.

Police interviewed the victim, who according to documents, say she and Snyder were engaged in (inappropriate sexual activity) only once - on August 16 while Snyder's family was out of state. She told investigators she was a "willing participant in the sexual relationship with Mr. Snyder."

The charges all involve having a relationship with a girl 16 or younger and include him being a public servant.