Jefferson Co. Constable Accused of Coercing Woman to Have Sex to Avoid Arrest Held for Court
PUNXSUTAWNEY BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A Jefferson County Constable and former candidate for Jefferson County Sheriff who is accused of indecent assault and attempting to coerce a woman to have sex with him to avoid arrest was held for court on Wednesday.
Court documents indicate the following charges against 56-year-old Paul J. Pape, of Punxsutawney, were held for court on Wednesday, November 6:
– Indecent Assault-Without Consent Of Other, Misdemeanor 2
– Official Oppression-Arrest Search Etc, Misdemeanor 2
– Obstruct Administration of Law/Other Government Function
The charges have been transferred to the Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas.
Pape remains free on $30,000.00 unsecured bail.
The charges stem from an investigation by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) into allegations that a Jefferson County Constable and candidate for Jefferson County Sheriff attempted to coerce a woman to have sex with him to avoid arrest.
Details of the case:
According to a criminal complaint, on August 16, 2019, Corporal Krick, of the Clarion-based State Police, met and interviewed a known female victim who reported that on August 9, her father contacted her and told her she had a warrant out for her arrest. The victim said she then contacted Jefferson County Constable Paul Pape, via text messages and phone calls, to confirm that there was a warrant for her arrest.
The victim stated that Pape told her he wasn’t able to find a warrant for her arrest, but during their conversations, they planned for Pape to travel to Butler to pick her up and give her a ride to DuBois. The victim advised she believed this arrangement was “made as a friendly gesture” and not as Pape acting in his official capacity as Constable.
The victim went on to report that on August 10, Pape picked her up on his motorcycle in Butler around 6:00 p.m. and drove her to his residence instead of taking her to DuBois as agreed. She said when they arrived, he invited her inside for something to eat, and once they were inside, he handed her papers and related that there was an active warrant for her arrest. Pape allegedly stated that “if she would have sex with him, he would make her warrant disappear.” During this time, Pape also allegedly repeatedly touched the victim’s back and buttocks.
According to the complaint, the victim made up an excuse and told Pape she need to meet a friend. The victim also reported that Pape kissed her, on the mouth, before they left the residence. He then drove her to the UniMart in the east end of Punxsutawney in his truck.
The victim told police that before Pape dropped her off, they made plans to get together on Monday for the warrant, and he told her “he would be able to make it go away.” The victim reported Pape said he didn’t serve the warrant on her because he liked her and also said he didn’t tell her about the warrant when they planned for him to pick her up in Butler because “he figured she wouldn’t come with him if she knew she had a warrant.” Pape then contacted her from his phone on August 11, and they confirmed they would meet the following day so he could take her to see the judge so he didn’t get in trouble for not serving the warrant.
The complaint notes the victim was then hospitalized on August 12 and was unable to contact Pape. Pape then discovered she had been hospitalized and visited her there. According to the complaint, Pape was upset because he made plans for her to turn herself in, and she didn’t tell him she was in the hospital. He then allegedly gave her the warrant for her to sign and proceeded to tell her how much he liked her. The victim reported that Pape gave her a kiss on the forehead and told her “everything would be alright” prior to him leaving the hospital. Pape also made arrangements to pick her up when she was discharged.
According to the complaint, on August 15, Jefferson County Probation was made aware of the victim’s location at the hospital and took her into custody and transported her to Jefferson County Jail. During the transport, the victim told probation officers about her contact with Pape.
Pape was interviewed by Corporal Krick around 2:55 p.m. on August 20 after being read his Miranda warnings.
According to the complaint, when asked about his first meeting with the victim, Pape related it was in Falls Creek when he was serving warrants and said he didn’t know who she was at that time. He also said he did not know how he got her number. Pape told police that he and the victim didn’t have much contact over the summer until a couple of weeks earlier.
The complaint notes that Pape then stated that he “screwed up.”
He noted that a warrant came out for the victim, and she was in Butler and needed a ride back. He went on to state he was going down that way and would bring her back on the motorcycle. He also allegedly admitted that he brought her back to his house in Punxsutawney and told her that she had a warrant before dropping her off at UniMart and telling her he would contact her Monday to take care of the warrant. He noted that she never called and he began to look for her and found out she was hospitalized. He then served the warrant and had her sign it and told the nurse to let him know when she would be released. Then he received a call Thursday that she was going to be discharged, but probation picked her up.
Pape admitted that he received the warrant on Friday, August 9, from his mailbox at the probation office, and had contact with the victim that day when she called about the warrant. According to the complaint, he said he didn’t tell her about the warrant Friday and still didn’t tell her about it when he picked her up Saturday. He said that he picked her up as a friend and “couldn’t arrest her because he was on his bike.”
When asked about where the victim wanted to go when he picked her up, Pape allegedly related that he thought she wanted to go to DuBois, but admitted he had no intentions of taking her there. He also admitted he didn’t tell her that he was going back to his house and figured that she would get a ride from his house. He stated they were only there for about 15 minutes, and said his son was the only other person at the house, but he didn’t know if his son saw the victim. However, he did know his son heard her, because he said his son later asked him about her. He told police he then took the victim to East End Unimart in Punxsutawney and dropped her off.
According to the complaint, Pape stated that he showed the victim the warrant while they were at his house because she didn’t believe she had a warrant. He said he got the warrant from his car and showed it to her outside and said they would deal with it on Monday. He also said he told her “not to screw him over because he could get in trouble since he had her warrant and didn’t serve it.” He then took her in his truck to Unimart and also called her Sunday to make plans for her to contact him Monday.
The complaint notes that when asked if anything inappropriate happened at the house, Pape stated “not really,” and said he didn’t make an advances on her. He told police he rubbed her arm and back because she said she was sore, but then she told him she didn’t like being touched. When asked if she asked him to rub her arm and back, Pape said “not really,” and when asked if he touched her anywhere else, he said he did not. He also allegedly related the touching was before he showed her the warrant. When asked if he made the comment that if she would have sex with him, he would make the warrant go away, Pape denied the allegation. When asked about a kiss, he stated that he kissed her on the forehead, but when asked about the kiss a second time, he said that he turned, gave her a hug, and a kiss on the lips and related “it wasn’t with tongue, it was just a peck,” and also said he “wasn’t looking to get anything.” He also allegedly stated that if the victim thought “he was playing her” it was “her doings,” but also noted that he knew what he did was “inappropriate,” the complaint states.
According to the complaint, when asked if he said anything to her in the hospital on Monday when he had her sign the warrant, Pape said “nothing bad or anything,” and when asked if he gave her a kiss in the hospital, he said “I don’t know if I did or not.”
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