Former Ashley Borough Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Sexually Assaulting Two Women
SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that former Ashley Borough Police Officer, Mark Icker, age 30, pleaded guilty today before United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion to violating the civil rights of two females in his custody whom he sexually assaulted.
According U.S. Attorney David J. Freed, the criminal information alleges that Icker worked as a police officer for the Ashley Borough Police Department in December 2018. On December 3, 2018 and December 10, 2018, Icker, while acting under color of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, willfully deprived two women of their liberty without due process of law, which includes the right to bodily integrity, by coercing the women into engaging in unwanted sexual contact with him.
In a plea agreement filed with the Court, the Government and Icker agreed to jointly recommend a twelve year sentence of imprisonment. Sentencing was deferred pending the preparation of a pre-sentence report.
“The Department of Justice will continue to vigorously prosecute law enforcement officers who exploit their authority to sexually abuse individuals in their custody,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division.
“We count on law enforcement officers at all levels to uphold their oaths, and to serve and protect the public,” said U.S. Attorney David J. Freed. “When a line is crossed, and a protector becomes a predator, we must act – swiftly and with certainty. While I am extremely proud of the cooperative efforts of law enforcement in this case, especially my colleagues and partners in the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, we are only able to pursue this prosecution because of the bravery of the victims. In a case where one of us in law enforcement did something so very wrong, the innocent victims stood up for what is right. We are proud to seek justice on their behalf.”
"A police officer using his position of authority to sexually exploit women is utterly contemptible,” said Michael T. Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Mark Icker felt entitled enough to coerce his victims into sex acts. He clearly expected to get away with violating their bodies and their civil rights. The public corruption and civil rights squad at our Scranton Resident Agency was determined to seek justice for the women involved, and keep Icker from harming anyone else in this way.”
“The actions of this former officer are in no way indicative of law enforcement of Luzerne County,” said District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis. “Many great men and women have died doing what is right while wearing the badge Mr. Icker has tarnished. As adamant as this office is about standing by police when they pursue justice, we are as determined to defend the Constitution when a sworn officer violates the God-given rights that make this country so great.
On behalf of our office and the people of Luzerne County, we would like to thank U.S. Attorney David Freed, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Olshefski, St. John and Patel, along with the FBI agents whom not only agreed with our assessment of the egregious nature of these offenses, but also worked so closely with us to bring this matter to a swift and just resolution.”
Icker was terminated from his position with the Ashley Borough P.D. in December 2018. Icker was also terminated from part-time positions he held with the Sugar Notch and Jessup Police Departments.
This case was investigated by the Scranton Office of the FBI - Philadelphia Division, and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Michelle Olshefski and Jeffery St. John of the Middle District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorney Shan Patel of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice are prosecuting the case.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
In this case, the maximum penalty for civil rights violations is 20 years’ imprisonment. The charge also includes a fine and a term of supervised release following any period of incarceration. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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