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PA: Suits Involving State Police Sex Scandal Settled for $5M

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania State Police agreed to pay $5 million to four women in order to settle sexual assault allegations against state Trooper Michael Evans, as well as allegations against his commanders for not removing Evans from the force despite knowledge of his behavior. A joint statement released by Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller and three of the lawyers involved in the suits commended the victims for coming forward, and acknowledged that they were “seriously wronged” by Evans. Last summer, lawyers for the women uncovered a huge scandal after filing for the release of internal affairs reports to serve as exhibits in one of the suits. The information made public detailed troopers having sex in police cars and barracks, soliciting sex from prostitutes and informants, watching pornography while on duty, and dropping traffic violations for sex. In total, of 163 allegations of sexual misconduct filed during 1995 and 2001, 68 were substantiated, leading to the firing of 14 troopers Penny Harrington, founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Center for Women and Policing (NCWP), attributes the hostile behavior in part to the paucity of women in law enforcement. Harrington and others at the NCWP have seen that with more women in the police force, the number of harassment complaints are dramatically reduced. Harrington told the Philadelphia Daily News that the Pennsylvania police force is only four percent women, and needs to work harder on recruiting more female police officers. “I think the state police have had a huge wakeup call,” Harrington said, “They say they are serious about making changes. Only time will tell if that is true.” Evans is currently serving a 5-10 year prison sentence, after pleading guilty in 2000 to corruption of minors, indecent assault, solicitation to promote prostitution, official oppression and indecent exposure, according to USA Today. He will be eligible for parole in February of next year. LEARN MORE about the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Center for Women and Policing DONATE to support FMF’s work to increase the numbers of women at all ranks in law enforcement

Sources:

Philadelphia Daily News 9/3/04; USA Today 9/3/04; Feminist News 7/23/04

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