According to York Daily Record, allegations of sexual abuse have been brought against a police officer at the York City Police Department located at 50 W King St, York, PA 17401.
On March 8, 2022, a 16-year-old girl reported that the former five-year veteran Joseph Palmer abused her sexually. The two first encountered her during an incident at a school, and the juvenile engagement officer requested that she add him on Snapchat. The conversations that followed quickly became sexual in nature and included him asking her for explicit photos and telling her not to tell anyone. Palmer would also send messages to her parents to ask how she was and even call her during a stay in a psychiatric hospital.
Palmer invited her to go bowling in December, to which she agreed. While at the bowling alley the victim alleged that Palmer touched her in "inappropriate places" and requested that she perform an oral sex act on him. She claimed she did because he made her feel bad. The victim alleged that he kissed her and groped her upper thigh during another encounter. The former officer is also said to have informed the girl that he knew her boyfriend's address and driver's license after she tried to end the relationship.
Although the officer has not been formally charged, the victim filed a protection-from-intimidation order, and he was instructed to refrain from contact with the teen. Palmer resigned from the department on April 12, 2022.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is an experienced sexual abuse lawyer who often represents victims in civil lawsuits. Brian offered to share his insight on the legal options available for victims sexually assaulted by a police officer.
"People trust police officers and other law enforcement professionals to keep them safe by preventing crime and enforcing the law. While the vast majority of officers are trustworthy individuals, there have been instances where police officers have abused their positions of power and trust to sexually assault people. Victims of these heinous crimes should know they have legal options."
"Victim's first step should include reporting the sexual assault to authorities as this will result in a criminal investigation. The investigation is a critical part of the legal process. It can help to determine if a third party could be held liable. For instance, if the police officer had prior complaints filed against them, but the department failed to follow up, allowing the officer to stay working, the department would be considered negligent. The department would be responsible for conducting a background check on the officer to prevent the hiring of anyone with a known history of misconduct. Victims and their families can learn more about their legal options to file a lawsuit by speaking with an experienced sexual abuse attorney."