An attorney for a former Pittsburgh police officer facing sexual assault charges repeated time and again how his client was looking forward to his day in court to prove his innocence.
But when that day came Monday, Adam Skweres, 35, of Lincoln Place pleaded guilty.
"It was too much of a risk to take it to trial. There's no better way to say it," said defense attorney Phil DiLucente.
Skweres pleaded guilty to all 26 counts against him. He was sentenced to 31/2 to eight years in prison to be followed by 10 years' probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The prison term falls within the standard guideline range.
Skweres, who was immediately taken into custody, took the plea because of the prospect of as much as 86 1/2 to 173 years in prison if convicted on all counts, Mr. DiLucente said.
"This plea deal was recommended only because, if he was found guilty on just one of these, Judge [David] Cashman could have sentenced him to five to 10 years," the lawyer said.
The plea included eight felony counts, including attempted rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
Skweres was charged in February 2012 and accused of offering legal breaks to women in exchange for sexual activity.
In all, five women came forward with allegations, and two of the cases dated to 2008.
In one case, Skweres offered to write a positive letter to the Allegheny County Department of Children, Youth and Families for a woman if she performed oral sex on him, according to a criminal complaint.
In another, he offered to make a woman's paperwork "mysteriously disappear" if she would spend 20 to 30 minutes with him.
In the one that led to the initial investigation and arrest, in December 2011, Skweres offered to help a woman whose boyfriend was a potential informant if she provided oral sex.
That woman told investigators Skweres came to her home in Beltzhoover, locked the door and asked how much she loved her boyfriend. He then told the woman to strip.
Then in February 2011, another woman said Skweres attacked her in her home while he was in full uniform. He asked if she wanted to help her boyfriend get out of jail and forced her to perform sex acts.
She went to the FBI.
None of the victims testified, and Skweres said only that he was pleading guilty "because I am guilty, your honor."
Skweres was an officer for 4 1/2 years and worked in the city's Zone 3 station. He was fired a year ago.
Mr. DiLucente said he asked the judge to recommend his client serve his time at SCI Laurel Highlands.
He had been preparing for trial for months, and said there had never been an offer for a plea deal before.
"To place your life in the hands of a judge or jury has no guarantee," he said. "This was the only guarantee he could get."
Paula Reed Ward: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2620.