AG Shapiro Charges Former Washington County Police Officer for Sexual Assault

September 18, 2019 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced charges against a former Monongahela Police Officer for using his position as a police officer to have unwanted sexual contact with a woman while he was on-duty and in a police vehicle. Dustin Devault, 47, of Monongahela, Washington County was charged on Tuesday with Indecent Assault, Official Oppression, and Obstructing the Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function at the recommendation of the 43rd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury.

“The victim turned to the defendant because he was a member of law enforcement and someone she should have been able to trust,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Instead, he is charged with taking advantage of that trust to have unwanted sexual contact with her, and then reportedly lied about it to his superiors. My Office filed charges to hold him accountable for his egregious actions and to deliver justice for the victim.”

The Grand Jury found that the defendant first encountered the victim in the summer of 2018 during a traffic stop he initiated. The victim reported that she met with the defendant and exchanged text messages several times after the traffic stop with the understanding that he was going to help her become a police officer and seek treatment for a loved one who was suffering from substance use disorder.

At one meeting, the defendant reportedly arived in a blue, unmarked Ford Taurus and was in full uniform with his gun and badge. After driving for a while, the victim reported that the defendant inappropriately touched her several times and repeatedly asked her to have sex with him. In the victim’s testimony to the Grand Jury, she said: “When you are in that situation, you just freeze. You don’t know what to do. He has a gun on him. He is a police officer. And I’m just a female. I just wanted to survive that moment.”

The Grand Jury also found that the defendant was not truthful with his superiors about his interactions with the victim and encouraged a coworker to lie as well. The defendant was removed from his position with the Monongahela Police Department. He now works as a part-time police officer with the Forward Township Police Department and also works as a police officer for Highmark.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte will prosecute the case. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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