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Jailed ex-officer could cost Pittsburgh $135K

Bob Bauder
| Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, 1:36 p.m.
Former Pittsburgh police Officer Adam Skweres
Former Pittsburgh police Officer Adam Skweres

A former Pittsburgh police officer serving prison time for sexually abusing women while on duty could cost the city as much as $135,000 in legal damages.

Pittsburgh is poised to pay $100,000 to settle a federal lawsuit a woman filed against Adam Skweres, who sexually assaulted her in 2012, according to legislation City Council is considering.

Skweres, 37, abused at least five women, but an attorney for the woman said there could be more victims.

“There may still be people who didn't come forward,” Downtown attorney Tim O'Brien said.

Council on Wednesday delayed a preliminary vote on the settlement until they have a meeting with the Law Department.

Attorneys two months ago agreed to a $35,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by one of Skweres' victims. Council has yet to consider that settlement.

The Tribune-Review does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler declined to comment, as did mayoral spokesman Tim McNulty. Skweres' attorney could not be reached.

Skweres pleaded guilty in March 2013 to 26 counts, including attempted rape, indecent assault, false imprisonment, bribery and official oppression.

In all cases, Skweres approached the women and offered favors in return for sex.

According to court documents, Skweres arrived unannounced at the home of O'Brien's client on Feb. 11, 2012, and offered to help her jailed boyfriend in exchange for sexual contact. Skweres gestured toward his handgun when she refused, and he forced her to perform a sex act.

The woman claimed in her lawsuit that city officials violated her civil rights because they permitted Skweres to become an officer even though he failed a psychological exam in 2005 and they kept him on the force even as two women accused him of assaults in 2008 and 2011.

City officials said they were unaware of the allegations.

O'Brien said he hopes the city puts in place measures that would sideline officers accused of misconduct.

Lawsuits alleging officer misconduct are mounting against the city this year. Approved and proposed settlements total at least $500,000.

Bob Bauder is a Trib Total Media staff writer.

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