4 Women Accuse Wilkes-Barre Police Officer of On-Duty Sexual Assaults
An officer with the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting four women while on duty. He has also been accused of threatening them not to report the assaults.
12-year veteran Officer Robert Collins was arrested by troopers with the Pennsylvania State Police at the Wilkes-Barre City Police Headquarters after his shift on Tuesday, January 22. This arrest followed a lengthy investigation by the State Police.
According to the authorities, Collins sexually assaulted four women between August 2013 and December 2014, while he was on duty, in uniform, and driving a police car. Court documents show that in three of the incidents, Collins searched the victims after pulling them over in traffic or stopping them on the street. In these cases, he found small amounts of drugs on each victim and forced them to perform sex acts on him, threatening to arrest them if they refused.
In the fourth incident, police say that Collins offered a woman a ride home after seeing her walking down the street. He pressured her to get into his police car and then locked the doors and sexually assaulted her when she did.
Collins has been suspended with pay while the department conducts an internal investigation. He is currently in jail on $125,000 bail and scheduled to return to court in February.
Anyone with related information or who is also a victim has been encouraged to contact the Pennsylvania State Police Wyoming Barracks at 570-697-2000.
Legal Recourse for Survivors of Police Officer Sexual Assault
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former prosecutor who now serves as a civil attorney, helping survivors of sexual violence find justice through lawsuits. We’ve asked him to discuss the legal options available to survivors of sexual assault by police officers:
Police officers are not above the law. While most individuals in law enforcement may be honorable people, some police officers are predators who commit heinous crimes, thinking their status will protect them from consequences. These predators inflict unimaginable trauma on their victims and those close to them and damage the public image of law enforcement as a whole. They must be held accountable for their actions.
Additionally, police departments must also be investigated to determine if the department is partially at fault for the abuse. In many cases, survivors of sexual assault by police officers may have grounds for a lawsuit. The officer, supervisors, and the department as a whole could all potentially be held liable in a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of police officer sexual assault, our experienced sexual assault survivors attorneys want to help your family fight for justice. To learn more about your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation.