WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — A former northeastern Pennsylvania police officer accused of using his badge to sexually assault eight women while on duty has been acquitted on all counts. Robert Collins, 55, of Wright Township, had retired last year after a dozen years as a Wilkes-Barre officer.

He was facing 36 counts related to on-duty assaults that prosecutors in Luzerne County said occurred from August 2013 to December 2014.

Prosecutors said Collins used the threat of arrest to coerce women into sexual acts. The jury deliberated for about six hours before returning its verdict Friday.

“All these allegations, trumped up allegations — no investigation done,” Collins said after the verdict. He said his lawyers “did the work that the State Police should have done in the first place to exonerate myself.”

Prosecutors declined to comment following the verdict.

(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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