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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A Wilkes-Barre Police Department officer is accused of sexually assaulting four women while on duty. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday that 53-year-old Robert Collins has been arrested and charged.
According to authorities, the four alleged assaults happened in Wilkes-Barre between August 2013 and December 2014.
In three of the cases, authorities say Collins searched the female victims after a vehicle stop or street encounter, found a small amount of drugs on them, and then allegedly sexually assaulted them in his police car. In the fourth case, the officer saw a young woman walking, got her into his police car, locked the door and allegedly sexually assaulted her, authorities said.
Authorities say, in all four cases, he threatened the victims not to report the crimes.
“This case is reprehensible – the perpetrator is a public official, someone who the community entrusted to protect them,” said Shapiro. “My Office will prosecute sexual assault offenders to the fullest extent of the law, no matter who they are. As Attorney General, I will not allow any person in power to abuse their position – without fear or favor.”
Collins has been charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault, witness intimidation and other related charges.
Collins was taken to the Pennsylvania State Police Wyoming Barracks for processing and will be arraigned.