City officer charged in soliciting sexual favors
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Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper said he is looking for additional women who might have been bribed by a city police officer who was charged Thursday with telling three women he could spare them and their acquaintances trouble with the law in exchange for sexual favors.
Officer Adam Skweres, 34, was arrested at 5:15 p.m. at his home in Lincoln Place and charged with bribery, coercion, official oppression and other crimes stemming from three incidents, two of which date to 2008. Additional charges are pending against the officer, who worked in the city's Zone 3 station in Allentown, the chief said.
In one case, Officer Skweres, who celebrated his fifth anniversary with the force less than two weeks ago, offered to write a positive letter to county Children, Youth and Family Services for a woman if she performed oral sex on him, according to a criminal complaint.
In another case, he is accused of telling a woman he could write her a ticket or make the paperwork "mysteriously disappear" if she would spend 20 or 30 minutes doing a favor for him. In the third, and most recent, he is accused of offering to help a women whose boyfriend was a potential informant if she performed oral sex on him.
"The behavior of this individual is very disturbing and should not be viewed as a reflection of the conduct of the good and honorable men and women who serve on the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police," Chief Harper said, reading from a prepared statement at a news conference where he declined to take reporters' questions.
Criminal complaints filed in city court suggest the incidents date to June 2008, when a woman who was testifying as a victim in one of Officer Skweres' cases said he escorted her out of the courtroom to talk to her privately. The woman told investigators that Officer Skweres said he knew the woman and her husband were involved with CYF and he would write her a positive letter if she performed oral sex on him.
The woman initially refused and Officer Skweres told her, "I don't normally do this, but I'm going to give you time to think," according to a criminal complaint.
The second incident occurred about two weeks later, when a woman told investigators Officer Skweres offered not to cite her following a traffic accident in the South Side if she would give him about a half-hour of her time and it "doesn't have to be sex we could do other things," according to a complaint.
The third incident occurred in December 2011, when a woman told investigators Officers Skweres came to her home in Beltzhoover and locked the door before asking how much she loved her boyfriend. Officer Skweres had arrested the woman's boyfriend "and was attempting to use him as an informant," according to the complaint.
Police said Officer Skweres told the woman to strip and perform oral sex on him, at one point unclipping his holster, demanding that the woman masturbate him and "lose the clothing."
Officer Skweres, who has been suspended without pay from his $52,000-a-year job, declined to comment on the charges as he was leaving police headquarters Thursday night.
News of the arrest shocked Officer Skweres' father, Leo Skweres, who said he learned of the charges while watching the news. Leo Skweres said his son graduated from Pittsburgh Allderdice and served in Iraq before taking some college courses and becoming a Pittsburgh police officer.
"He's a real good kid," Leo Skweres said, declining to elaborate before reading the charges and speaking with his son.
Members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County district attorney's office, the Office of Municipal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation worked on the cases. Representatives from those agencies declined to comment, as did leaders of the police officers' union.
Elizabeth Pittinger, executive director of the Citizen Police Review Board, said she was glad to see the charges were filed but she was worried about why Officer Skweres was allowed to interact with the public for more than three years after the first incident allegedly occurred.
"It's a very unsettling situation," she said. "That time frame is concerning."
City police have asked any additional victims or anyone who might have more information about the cases to call the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Sex Assault Unit at 412-323-7141 or the Office of Municipal Investigations at 412-255-2804.