JANESVILLE

A retired Beloit police officer accused of repeated sexual assault of a child was released on a signature bond after his initial court appearance Tuesday.

Larry J. Woods, 62, of Beloit and a teen girl had sexual contact on a regular basis for six months or more, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

The underage girl told police that she had known Woods all her life, and they began a relationship last fall, engaging in sexual activity in his SUV and at hotels in Beloit and Rockford, Illinois, according to the complaint.

Woods was arrested Saturday and was formally charged in Rock County Court on Tuesday.

Woods faces a charge of repeated sexual assault of a child. He was released on a signature bond, although Assistant District Attorney Gwanny Tjoa argued for a $10,000 cash bond.

Tjoa noted the seriousness of the charge, with a maximum 40 years in prison, and concern that Woods would try contact the girl and get her to change her statements. Tjoa noted the girl told police Woods had asked her to keep their meetings a secret.

Woods is a lifelong resident of the area, is married with adult children, owns his home and has no criminal record, argued Benjamin Wagner, a state public defender, who argued for a signature bond.

Court Commissioner Larry Barton agreed with Wagner. Barton also ordered Woods to have no contact with the girl and to possess no weapon.

The girl’s mother reported Woods to police after the mother discovered a video on a cellphone the girl had been using, according to the complaint.

The video showed the girl and Woods, both in their underwear, in what appeared to be a hotel room, according to the complaint.

The girl told police she had been staying at Woods’ residence for the past several weeks, according to the complaint.

Woods told the girl not to say anything about what they were doing because “he didn’t want to get in trouble, and he knows he would, like, go to jail or something,” according to the complaint.

An exam performed by a sexual assault nurse examiner revealed no injuries to the girl, who told the nurse she had been in a sexual, romantic relationship with Woods, according to the complaint.

As reported earlier, Woods retired from the Beloit Police Department in 2007 and has worked as a security guard for the Beloit School District and Beloit Public Library.

Woods does not qualify for a public defender, so he needs to hire his own lawyer, Wagner said. Woods’ next court appearance is set for 1 p.m. June 27.

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