ShareThis Page
News

Bail reduction denied for ex-constable

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2002

A district justice Tuesday denied a request to reduce the bail of a former Clairton constable accused of sexually molesting four young males.

Despite assurances from John D. Sorrentino's attorney, District Justice Armand Martin of Clairton refused to lower Sorrentino's bail from $80,000 to $20,000.

Sorrentino, 47, of St. Clair Avenue in Clairton, is charged with four counts of corruption of minors, three counts of criminal solicitation, three counts of indecent assault, three counts of endangering the welfare of children, and one count each of involuntary deviate sexual assault, selling or furnishing liquor, malt or brew to a minor and official oppression.

Yesterday, Sorrentino also waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Martin and will face all charges in Common Pleas court.

Jeffrey Wasak, Sorrentino's attorney, argued that his client's poor health and lack of money would have kept him from fleeing the area. In addition, Wasak had offered his assurance that Sorrentino would have no contact with alleged victims or anyone under the age of 18.

Although Assistant District Attorney Laurel Derry said she would not object to the bond reduction, it was Martin's decision to deny the request.

"These are very serious charges on some very defenseless children," Martin said.

Police said three of the alleged victims were in their teens when the assaults occurred and the fourth was 7 years old. In addition, one of the teens was described by police as being mentally challenged. According to court documents, at least two of the victims claimed that Sorrentino used a Pennsylvania State constable's badge to frighten them into thinking he could have them arrested if they reported the assaults.

Sorrentino was elected constable in 1992 and served in the district court in Clairton. When Martin took office in January 1994, he terminated Sorrentino's employment with that court "the very first day," he said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me