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Former constable pleads guilty to sex charges

Published March 14. 2018 05:12AM

A former constable who solicited women for sex entered guilty pleas in Carbon County court on Monday to 13 criminal counts.

George T. Bottomley Jr., 42, of Palmerton, formerly of Lansford, pleaded before Judge Steven R. Serfass to seven counts of promoting prostitution and six counts of obstructing the administration of law and other government functions. Bottomley was originally charged with 20 counts.

Bottomley got a break in the plea agreement he made with the state Attorney General’s office when the commonwealth agreed to have the prostitution charges reduced from felony three ratings to misdemeanor two ratings. The plea agreement includes the provision that he would not hold any public office for the next 10 years.

Bottomley is accused of using his position as an elected official to solicit sex from at least seven women from the Lansford area.

In some of the cases, which date back to 2010, he is accused of telling the women that they could be arrested on a warrant if they did not have sex with him.

Bottomley has been suspended from his position since October 2016. He was charged April 18, 2017.

As an elected state constable, Bottomley routinely served warrants and other court papers from the magisterial district court in Lansford. Because of that fact the county district attorney’s office asked the AG to prosecute the case.

At least seven women from the Lansford area have come forward and said that Bottomley offered to pay them money to help cover court costs. In exchange, they said he propositioned them for sex.

In several of the cases, Bottomley knowingly did not execute arrest warrants on the women while he was exchanging text messages offering to “help” them.

One woman told police that she had sex with Bottomley not because of the money that he promised her, but because she feared that he would arrest her, and separate her from her young child.

Police executed a search warrant at Bottomley’s then home on West Bertsch Street and found that Bottomley had saved several cellphone numbers and email addresses linked to the alleged victims.

They also found a makeshift bed in the basement of the home, which is where at least two victims told police that he took them to have sexual encounters.

Serfass said under state sentencing guidelines, Bottomley faces a sentence in the standard range of anywhere between probation and one month on each count he pleaded to. Serfass said the sentence imposed on each count could run concurrent or consecutive to each other. That decision will be up to Serfass.

Serfass deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation report.

Bottomley is currently free on 10 percent of $25,000 bail.

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