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Federal Jury Acquits Former Cops in Civil Rights Case

(Joseph Harvey, left, and Sean Cahill.  Photos from Phila. PD)

(Joseph Harvey, left, and Sean Cahill. Photos from Phila. PD)

Hanson_Tony--NEW Tony Hanson
Tony Hanson has spent his entire illustrious career at KYW Newsradio,...
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By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A federal jury in Philadelphia has acquitted a former city police officer of violating a woman’s civil rights in an incident linked to a lewd act inside a drug house during a raid.

KYW’s Tony Hanson reports fired officer Joseph Harvey has been acquitted of a single count of deprivation of civil rights. A second officer, charged with lying as part of a cover-up, has also been found not guilty.

The alleged victim testified Officer Joseph Harvey got her alone in a drug house, ordered her to strip, and then he masturbated. There was DNA and Harvey admitted on the stand during the trial that he did the lewd act, but he testified all the actions were consensual  (See Previous Story).

There were some discrepancies, inconsistencies in the woman’s various statements to authorities and she admitted she was high when the incident happened.

“She had admitted that she had used what is called a speedball, which is a combination of injecting in to your veins cocaine and heroin, and she did that on four or five different occasions, in addition to other heroin and Xanax,” defense attorney James Funt said.

The defendant’s wife, in court through the trial, shrieked, then sobbed and hugged her husband with the not guilty verdict. Funt says they are finally able to pick up the pieces and move on.

A co-defendant, Sean Cahill, has been acquitted of lying to cover up the alleged crime. He wants his job back.

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