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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Pittsburgh Police Tolerated a Sexual Predator

PITTSBURGH (CN) - The fifth victim of a Pittsburgh policeman's sexual assaults sued the city and three top police officers in Federal Court, for failing to fire or discipline Officer Adam Skweres despite multiple complaints.

Skweres, 35, pleaded guilty in March 2013 to 26 charges involving five women. A 9-year veteran, Skweres was sentenced to 3½ to 8 years in state prison. When he gets out he will be on probation for 10 years and will have to register as a sex offender.

In the latest lawsuit, Jane Doe sued the City, its Director of Public Safety Michael Huss, former Police Chief Nathan Harper and former Assistant Chief of Operations William Bochter.

Doe claims the defendants kept Skweres on the force despite having evidence of misconduct as early as 2008, and warnings about his misconduct before that.

They failed to fire Skweres "even though a psychological evaluation found him 'unsuitable for police work' and even though other women had previously complained that Skweres likewise had forced them into unwanted sexual acts," Doe says in the lawsuit.

As a result, "Pittsburgh Police Officer Adam Skweres - who was in uniform - carrying a firearm - displayed his badge of authority - unlawfully entered plaintiff's home and there forced her to engage in unwanted sexual acts," Doe says.

Doe does not name Skweres as a defendant, though his fourth victim did in her November 2013 lawsuit .

Doe claims in her lawsuit: "On February 11, 2012, Skweres arrived unannounced at plaintiff's home armed and in full uniform. He propositioned plaintiff, offering to help her incarcerated boyfriend in exchange for sex. When she told him to leave her home, he refused and gestured toward his handgun. When plaintiff continued to resist, Skweres physically forced plaintiff to perform a sex act on him."

Doe reported the assault to the FBI the next day, and on Feb. 16, 2012 Skweres was arrested and criminally charged with official oppression, indecent assault, rape and criminal coercion.

Doe says in her complaint that "until plaintiff reported Skweres' sexual assault to the FBI, the defendants, although aware of complaints about Skweres' sexual assaults on female citizens failed to take appropriate action to prevent him from inflicting similar harm on other women, including but not limited to failing to discipline him or remove him from all police duties and/or at a minimum any duty involving unregulated contact with female citizens and/or conducting or requesting another agency to conduct and adequate investigation into his conduct."

Doe says she was one of the five women whom Skweres pleaded guilty to sexually abusing.

Skweres was found "unsuitable for police work" as early as a 2005 psychological evaluation but, after appealing to the Civil Service Commission, he was admitted to the police academy.

The city received its first complaints from women alleging that Skweres had forced or tried to force them into unwanted sexual acts in 2008, 18 months after he was sworn in as an officer in 2006, according to Doe's complaint.

Three more official complaints were filed before the Skweres abused his last victim in 2012, according to the lawsuit.

"Despite these complaints, Skweres was not removed from his police duties. Instead, Skweres was allowed to continue performing regular patrol duties which involved interaction with female citizens, with no precautions taken to prevent him from abusing his police powers to sexually abuse other women," the complaint states.

Doe seeks medical expenses and punitive damages for constitutional violations, failure to supervise, emotional distress and other charges.

She is represented by Timothy O'Brien and Margaret Coleman.

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