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More Tearful But Defensive Testimony From Philadelphia Cop Charged With Extortion

(Daniel Castro, on trial in federal court for corruption.  File photo by Steve Tawa)

(Daniel Castro, on trial in federal court for corruption. File photo by Steve Tawa)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The former Philadelphia police inspector charged with corruption has completed his testimony in federal court, admitting to taking part in strongarm extortions — but only after a certain date, and then only reluctantly.

And it was remarkable, emotional, and sometimes stunning testimony.

Daniel Castro maintains he was entrapped by the government and its star informant, seduced by the desire to get back a bad debt (see related stories).

But prosecutor Louis Lappen cited secretly recorded conversations in which threats and breaking legs — even  raping a man’s wife — were discussed.

But during repeated questioning on the point, Castro wouldn’t concede this could have ended badly.

(Lappen:)  “When they go there to scare somebody, or to threaten them or to break their legs, to get money, whatever, one of the things that can happen is someone can die, sir, is that not correct?”

(Castro:)  “I don’t know that, sir.”

Castro also admitted brokering two other strong-armed extortions.  He says he “wasn’t thinking.”

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060

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