A former Monongahela police officer has been charged with having unwanted sexual contact with a woman while he was on duty, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday.
Dustin Devault, 47, of Monongahela, was charged with indecent assault, official oppression and obstruction based on the recommendation of a grand jury investigation, Shapiro said.
“The victim turned to the defendant because he was a member of law enforcement and someone she should have been able to trust,” Shapiro said in a statement. “Instead, he is charged with taking advantage of that trust to have unwanted sexual contact with her, and then reportedly lied about it to his superiors. My office filed charges to hold him accountable for his egregious actions and to deliver justice for the victim.”
Devault met the woman in the summer of 2018 during a traffic stop and afterward they exchanged text messages, officials said. Devault told the woman he would help her become a police officer and seek treatment for a loved one suffering from addiction, the grand jury investigation found.
Devault met the woman once in an unmarked police car in full uniform with his gun and badge. He touched her inappropriately and repeatedly asked for sex, according to a release from Shapiro’s office.
“When you are in that situation, you just freeze,” the woman told the grand jury. “You don’t know what to do. He has a gun on him. He is a police officer. And I’m just a female. I just wanted to survive that moment.”
Devault was untruthful to his superiors at the Monongahela Police Department and encouraged a co-worker to lie about the interactions, according to the release.
Devault was “removed” from his position with Monongahela police and works as a part-time officer with Forward Township police and Highmark police, according to the attorney general’s office.
An attorney for Devault wasn’t listed in online court records. Devault could not be reached for comment.
A Highmark spokesman said Devault had been in a training program to become a police officer there but was terminated because of the charges.
Forward Township police didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.