AP NEWS

Former W-B Cop To Stand Trial On Rape Charges

March 22, 2019
Former W-B Cop To Stand Trial On Rape Charges

WILKES-BARRE — The former Wilkes-Barre police officer accused of sexually assaulting four women while on duty will stand trial on rape charges, a judge ruled Friday.

Robert Collins, 53, of Wright Twp., is accused of preying on vulnerable women and threatening to put them in jail if they didn’t perform oral sex on him.

Magisterial District Judge Joseph D. Zola on Friday bound over all charges against Collins for trial. 

During a preliminary hearing Thursday, three of the women said they performed oral sex on Collins after being caught in possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, while the fourth said Collins fondled her while he masturbated in a police car after she was caught shoplifting at a drug store.

Defense attorney Evan T. L. Hughes argued for dismissal of most of those charges, specifically taking aim at charges of rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with forcible compulsion. Hughes noted that none of the victims claimed to have been physically forced into sex.

But Senior Deputy Attorney General Bernard Anderson argued that the law allows for both physical and psychological force to establish forcible compulsion. He noted that the women each testified that they had been coerced.

Zola did not immediately rule on the case Thursday, saying he wanted to review the allegations and the case law. Then on Friday morning, the judge sided with the prosecution and bound over all 22 charges for trial in the Court of Common Pleas. 

Collins is facing three counts of rape, three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, four counts of witness intimidation, one count of aggravated indecent assault, two counts of indecent assault, one count of false imprisonment, four counts of official oppression and four counts of obstructing justice.

Collins remains free after posting $125,000 bail through a bondsman.