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Pittsburgh police officer asked for sex favors, women say

Adam M. Skweres

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By Michael Hasch and Margaret Harding
Friday, Feb. 17, 2012
 

Three women told local and federal investigators that a Pittsburgh police officer offered to help them with their legal problems in exchange for sex, authorities announced on Thursday.

Adam M. Skweres, 34, of Lincoln Place, who has been a city officer since February 2007 and worked out of the Zone 3 station in Allentown, also is accused of threatening and scaring the women if they did not comply with his requests.

Police Chief Nate Harper said the city immediately suspended Skweres without pay after his arrest at 5:15 p.m. on charges of bribery, official oppression, coercion and attempted indecent assault.

Skweres' father said he was unaware that his son was in trouble.

"To the best of my knowledge, he wasn't in any problems at all," said Leo Skweres, 73, of Squirrel Hill. "This came as a complete surprise to me."

Leo Skweres said the family plans to fight the charges.

"All they're doing right now is accusing him," he said, adding that his son was a military police officer before going to work for the city.

Adam Skweres, who had been on the job for 18 months before the first allegation of misconduct, was awaiting arraignment in Night Court. He was paid $57,274 last year, according to city payroll records.

"The behavior of this individual is very disturbing and should not be viewed as a reflection of the conduct of the good and honorable men and women who serve on the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police," Harper said at a news conference announcing the arrest. "But at the same time, we are here to protect and to serve all the citizens of this fine city."

City police, the FBI, the city's Office of Municipal Investigation and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office conducted the investigation.

Harper said the investigation has been ongoing for several years, and court documents show that one woman told investigators that Skweres approached her in June 2008 at Pittsburgh Municipal Court, Downtown, and offered to write Allegheny County Children Youth and Families a positive letter to help her if she granted him a sexual favor. Her refusal, she told investigators, would mean he would send a negative letter.

The complaint states that she told him no but that he gave her his telephone number and time to think about his offer. The complaint does not indicate whether the two had any further communication or whether Skweres wrote any letters.

A second woman told police that Skweres entered her home two months ago and offered to help her boyfriend who was under arrest if she would grant a sexual favor. The woman told police that she became terrified when he unzipped his pants and agreed to expose her buttocks to him "in order to satisfy him," the complaint states.

A third woman told police that she was involved in a traffic mishap in July 2008 and that Skweres said he would write her a ticket but make it mysteriously disappear "in exchange for a favor. ... (It) doesn't have to be sex, we could do other things," the complaint states. She said he also looked down at his gun and told her that if she said anything about their conversation, he would make sure she never spoke again, the complaint states.

The complaints did not identify the women.

Harper said the investigation is continuing, and he asks that any other potential victims call police or the Office of Municipal Investigations.

Dan O'Hara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, declined to comment, saying, "We simply don't comment on ongoing investigations."

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