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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Former PA Mayor Sued Over Night of Terror

PHILADELPHIA (CN)- A former Pennsylvania mayor convicted of holding hostage a young man with whom he was infatuated now faces a federal complaint for damages.

James Schiliro, the one time mayor of Marcus Hook, served about nine months in the Delaware County prison last year in connection to his convictions for reckless endangerment, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, official oppression and furnishing liquor to a minor.

The conviction forced Schiliro to resign just a month before his first term as mayor would have concluded.

Prosecutors showed that Schiliro sent a police car to the home of 20-year-old Nicholas Dorsam on Feb. 21, 2013, forced the young man to drink wine, repeatedly threatened him with a gun, and tried to solicit oral sex.

According to the complaint Dorsam filed Monday in Philadelphia, Schiliro texted him on Feb. 21 at about 11 p.m., and "expressed the urgent need" to see him. He allegedly texted him again a short while later to tell him a police car was on its way to pick him up.

Dorsam texted back and said he would come over just long enough to ensure the mayor was all right, the complaint says.

Officer Luis Garay drove Dorsam to Schiliro's home, where the mayor "forced plaintiff ... to consume alcoholic beverages," the complaint says.

The suit says that over the course of three hours Schiliro shared his "personal thoughts regarding his sexual orientation, his sexual desires, his professional aspirations, his unwillingness to live any longer, as well as other personal thoughts," and "repeatedly attempted to engage the plaintiff ... in oral sex with him."

Schiliro refused to let Dorsam leave, threatening him by brandishing three guns and shooting one of them, the suit says. He told Dorsam, "You're my hostage tonight."

At his sentencing, Schiliro told the court: "That night was a culmination of feelings which had built up over 25 years."

He said he knew Dorsam from the time the young man was a teenager, felt his was the youth's mentor, then became attracted to him.

Dorsam says his experiences on the night in question have had long-term ramifications for him, and that he will "in the future be obliged to spend large and various sums of money for medicine and medical attention in endeavoring to treat and cure himself of injuries sustained."

He seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, false imprisonment, terroristic threats, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Dorsam is represented by attorney Holly Dobrosky.

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