Multiple rape cases against Mt. Pleasant cop to be tried together in Westmoreland County
Allegations that a suspended Mt. Pleasant Borough police officer raped and sexually assaulted six different woman in four counties can be tried together in Westmoreland County, a judge ruled on Monday.
Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Feliciani, following a brief hearing, reaffirmed a ruling he issued in 2017 that consolidated all six cases filed against John Andrew Brown, 46, of Mt. Lebanon, who prosecutors contend sexually assaulted women in Westmoreland, Allegheny, Beaver and Erie counties.
Brown initially was charged in 2016 in Westmoreland County after a woman claimed she was choked and raped at a Donegal Township apartment. A year later, similar allegations surfaced from five other women who claimed Brown assaulted them in the same manner.
The judge previously ruled that all six cases against Brown could be prosecuted in Westmoreland County and tried at the same time.
Defense attorney Valerie Veltri on Monday argued Brown should only be tried for the original case in Westmoreland County. The other cases should be dismissed because he was not charged in any other jurisdiction, Veltri said.
“It’s improper venue and we will file an appeal,” Veltri said.
Brown’s trial is scheduled to begin next month, but an appeal could delay the cases indefinitely, Veltri said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.