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Police corporal charged with rape

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    File photo of Steven Mertz, courtesy of BRC TV.

Published October 23. 2019 03:20PM

A former Pocono Mountain Regional corporal who lives in Lehighton is facing charges after allegedly coercing sexual acts from a woman while she was in his custody.

Steven Mertz, 53, is accused of using his position on the police force to press a 26-year-old woman into having sex with him in exchange for dropping charges against her after he pulled her over for a DUI charge.

The charges against the 22-year police veteran were announced at a press conference Wednesday held by Monroe County District Attorney David Christine and Pocono Mountain Regional Chief of Police Chris Wagner.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Detective Wendy Serfass of the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney:

On Oct. 17, Serfass interviewed a woman who said that an officer had sexually assaulted her the day before.

The victim told Serfass that on the morning of Oct. 16, she was pulled over on Long Pond Road and administered a roadside sobriety test, which she failed. The victim agreed to go to the state police barracks for processing and was then driven to the station in Fern Ridge by Mertz.

At the station, the victim tested for a blood alcohol concentration of 0.147%, well above the state’s limit of 0.08.

The victim was returned to Mertz’s custody, who offered to take her home as long as there weren’t any outstanding warrants against her.

Mertz contacted the on-call judge, Magisterial District Judge Brian Germano, who determined the victim could go home and turn herself in the next morning.

After that phone call, Mertz drove the victim to her residence. She told Mertz that her brother had recently died from an overdose, which had led her to drinking. Mertz responded that his son, too, had recently died.

Upon pulling into the victim’s driveway, Mertz asked her if her parents were up, to which the victim responded her mother probably was. Mertz then suggested he might not file driving under the influence charges against the victim and that the two go “somewhere more private.” The victim agreed.

Mertz parked in a cul-de-sac down the street. Dressed in full uniform, he exited the patrol car and walked over to the rear passenger door, where the victim was sitting. She said she asked Mertz if he wanted her to perform oral sex on him, to which Mertz responded, “That will help.”

The victim began performing oral sex on Mertz, and then he had sex with her, according to the affidavit.

After the assault took place, Mertz dropped the woman off at home. He kissed her and gave her a business card with his telephone number on it.

At that point, the victim was still intoxicated. Fearing a pending DUI charge and possible incarceration, she called a friend and told her what had occurred that morning. The friend advised the victim to first swab her mouth and genitals and then report the event. The victim was hesitant to do the latter.

She then text messaged Mertz, using the number written on his business card. “How do I know you are telling the truth,” she asked in regards to him not filing the DUI charges.

“I don’t lie,” Mertz wrote back.

Mertz added that because he had not fingerprinted her, the charges “would just disappear,” the affidavit reads. When a person is fingerprinted, it triggers notification to the district judge and an arrest entry is placed in the person’s criminal history.

Mertz further told the victim not to mention the DUI to the judge — identified as Magisterial District Judge Daniel Kresge — telling him instead that she had been picked up on an outstanding warrant from Pocono Township.

After meeting with the judge, the victim text messaged Mertz again, saying Kresge had let her out on an unsecured bail. She asked Mertz if he told the judge anything about “what happened last night.”

Mertz replied that he hadn’t.

“That’s our secret,” he wrote. “No telling anyone.”

According to the affidavit, the Oct. 16 DUI would have been the victim’s fourth, carrying with it a mandatory one year incarceration.

She said she knew when Mertz dropped her off that he wanted sexual favors to not file the charges, but that morning, she was both afraid of a looming jail sentence and still intoxicated.

Following the assault, she said she felt ashamed and decided to speak out after consulting an attorney.

Mertz has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, one count of rape threat of forcible compulsion, one count of threat of official act, two counts of aggressive indecent assault, two counts of indecent assault threat by forcible compulsion, one count of bribery, one count of obstruction administration of law, one count of rape threat of forcible compulsion, one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion and one count of official oppression.

He is currently being held at the Monroe County Correctional Facility in lieu of a $50,000 bail.

Wagner said he and members of the force were shocked about the incident, which he believed to be a one-time occurrence. However, if there are other incidents, he asked that people contact Serfass at the district attorney’s office.

Comments
Must be a Carbon County thing considering the perv cop and his buddy from Weissport.
I hate to get medical schbeely again, but they really should be making Police Officers take an MMPI or other Psyche screening at a minimum before employment.
Edit: The Guardian on line. Rape Culture as American as Apple Pie by Arwa Mahdawi. Sept 2019.
I wonder if Trump made him do it or is somehow responsible for this. Could someone PLEASE let me know.
I wish all the other girls around here that have had to do sexual acts to get out of charges would come forward. There wouldnt be no more than one or two police officers left in each town, and who knows with the State police.
Well the court of public opinion here at TN has heard the case, now let's hang him high. No reason for a hearing Judge, take off the robe and relax, we're gonna hang him high... NOW!
Heck Judge, we're hunting down all officers.
If they'd stop acting like complete shetbags maybe we'd show a little compassion. I haven't been able to find gainful employment in 2 years because my mugshot is on Facebook. The court of public opinion works both ways.
Sorry to hear that k-m, but I don't use FB, so I would have never known.
My point is, we have become a nation that has thrown off the fetter of the public-trial right found in the Sixth Amendment, in favor of public opinion, or, the hoax currently going on under Schiff.
This is not good. Fair Trial within a system of equality... right? Equality?
Thanks Country-Girl,
I'm no musician, but agree with Johann Sebastian Bach: "Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.', 'I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.', and 'The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God and the refreshment of the spirit."

I love to glorify God through worship, it refreshes my Spirit.
This man is truly a monster. First, his son did not die. His girlfriend’s son killed himself with one of HIS weapons and it was covered up by the Jim Thorpe Police Department. The young man died and Steve and his family didn’t even look for him for an extended period of time. Where is someone to look into that? He claims his girlfriends kids are his kids. He’s a despicable human being. He needs to rot in jail for the things he’s done. He is known for using his “power” as an officer to get away with things.
I know this man and his fiancé and their kids. They all consider him their Dad, that’s what they call him and he claims them as his. You need to stop spreading blatant lies and gossip about their sons death.
Sounds like your the monster. Their son died and you say it’s laughable. What your putting out about his sons death wasn’t even necessary and more than half of what you said was a lie. You shouldn’t be talking about it when you obviously don’t know what you are talking aboutyou don’t know them or what they’ve gone through since their boy died
You have no idea how I know this person. I know a lot more than I want to even say here. What’s laughable is calling him that kids father when he is NOT. Using sympathy about a death to prey on a young woman is disgusting.
Those kids all consider him their father and call him dad. He claims those kids as his. Who are you to tell them they are wrong. You calling names and bringing up anyone’s child death and lying about it makes you the monster and scumbag. I don’t care how you “claim” to know this person. I’ve know this man most of my life and the woman he calls his wife is one of the best women I’ve met. He didn’t abandon his biological children. He tried. They abandoned him.
Maybe you should get the story straight. I totally agree with the whole why throw the loss of a child in this conversations. There is a time and place and this is not it. However as for his kids, he didn't try shit. He abandoned his family and had an affair with another woman. He chose to be with another women and not his kids. I know Steve and his family for over 25 years. He was an ok guy but he changed these last couple of years. What he did was wrong and he will have to pay for his crimes. I hope he learns from his mistake. She should also be punished for her DUI and participating. There always two sides to every story how do we know who initiated what. He is definitely not wrong by any means and should be punished for it, but she shouldn't get away with anything either. She chose to drive drunk, she should have just took her punishment and turned him in. His biological children will also suffer the humiliation. But your right they abandoned him (sarcastically), he was was the adult not them. Next time don't open your mouth unless you know the whole story.
Seems like you are the one who doesn’t know the whole story. He didn’t abandon his kids. He left his ex not his kids. He still pays their bills even though they refuse to speak to him. He tried to communicate with them keep in touch and do stuff with them. Like you said there are 2 sides to every story looks like you only have been told one side of what happened. He’s innocent until proven guilty. I know him. You claim to if you believe he’s capable of what they say you don’t.
This story is about Rape. Rape is about power and control. Ladies please read the article written in The Guardian that I mentioned in my first post. Men are the ones that need to read it.
Ladies, Girls please learn this one important thing as you go forward in your life. You need to TAKE THE POWER, NO ONE IS GOING TO
GIVE IT TO YOU. Now repeat that.
Wow alot of comments to go back and read later!
1. Wheres the rapekit evidence?why did she not swab her skanky holes?
2. That's not a bad deal. I'm getting my liscence back Oct 30 from a refusal and have not been sentanced yet. Can't get a trial with a jury of my
peers.#unconstitutionalduitrial
So I mean if consider it if it were a female officer...
3. Why in THE HELL DONT EVERY OFFICER WEAR A BODY CAMERA 100% ALL OF THE TIME?
FOR THE OFFICERS OWN SAFETY AND THE PUBLICS SAFETY FOR POWER TRIPPING PIGS SHOWING OFF FOR THEIR TRAINEE OR IN A PISSY MOOD CUS I JUST WOKE UP AT 11:00 ON A SUNDAY MORNING AND THEY EVEN STATED THAT THEY WERE JEALOUS. BUDDY YOU DINT KNOW WHAT I DID LAST NIGHT YOU FREAKING MENACE! POWRETRIPPING PISSANT COP PIG! WAS I ANY DANGER TO SOCIETY? NO BUT YOU SURE WERE FLYING UP ON MY butt 60 MPH PLUS ON RIDGE STREET IN LANSFORD ON A SUNDAY MORNING WHEN CHURCH LETTING OUT! Hot persuit for a "California stop" or were you just so happy to see my car move from the Illegal tracking device Bonner put in my car? you dillweed ! Thanks for taking it out if my car! Illegal! I got the proof now too! How else did you guys know every time I came into or was leaving town??? GANGSTALKERS!
...
SO YEAH...
WHY ARENT BODY CAME BEING WORN?
THIS SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO ANY OFFENDER ARRESTED...

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