Allegheny County

Pittsburgh police officer claims coworker raped her with minimal punishment, sources say

PITTSBURGH — A female Pittsburgh Police Officer from Zone 5 is accusing another Zone 5 officer of sexual assault.

Sources tell Channel 11 the female officer sent a scathing email to the entire Pittsburgh Police Department, detailing the alleged sexual assault and how the system failed her.

Channel 11′s Gabriella DeLuca obtained a copy of the email, and Target 11 has corroborated many of the allegations with multiple sources.

Back in June, the female officer wrote that she and several other officers attended a cookout at the station, where they all began drinking.

The party moved to a bar, and the officer wrote she was too drunk to drive home, so a male officer drove her to her house.

That’s where, she says, her co-worker raped her.

Throughout her email, she wrote multiple times that the accused officer knew she was too intoxicated to consent to sex, and that he later suggested that they not tell anyone about what happened.

She added that the Allegheny County Police Department and the District Attorney’s office conducted a review, but no charges were filed.

The city’s Office of Municipal Investigations also conducted a review, and bureau leadership ultimately recommended the accused officer be fired.

She claims that Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich instead gave the officer a two-to-three day suspension, and transferred him out of Zone 5.

The female officer had strong words for Director Hissrich, who only has a few days left on the job.

She wrote, “I can’t even begin to tabulate everything I’ve lost, everything that was taken from me, but I know that, according to Director Hissrich, it is all worth two or three days’ compensation, and a slightly altered commute.”

Channel 11 reached out to Pittsburgh Police for a comment, and public information officer Cara Cruz provided the following statement:

The Department of Public Safety is aware of an email that is circulating within the Bureau of Police.

Its contents are of a sensitive nature regarding allegations of a sexual assault. It is imperative that the public know the report was, and is, being taken seriously.

It was first thoroughly and independently investigated by the Allegheny County Police.

The City’s Office of Municipal Investigations also conducted an administrative investigation.

The standard disciplinary process was followed, which included a hearing with the Fraternal Order of Police.

Public Safety will continue to support the Allegheny County Police investigation. As more information comes to light, the Department will continue to follow the administrative process.

As for the accusing officer, the last sentence in her lengthy email read, “I for one, have a burning intellectual curiosity to discover if the punishment for writing an expose about an alleged rape is greater or lesser than the punishment for alleging oneself to be a rapist.”

In a statement, Mike Manko, spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, told Channel 11:

“Crimes against women are some of the most difficult situations that our community faces far too often. Believing something happened and proving it criminally are two entirely different circumstances.

We are fortunate in confronting these issues to have some of the most forward thinking and impactful victim services agencies anywhere in the country and we will continue to respond with diligence to all matters involving the physical and / or sexual assault of women.”

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