PUNXSUTAWNEY —Jefferson County constable and sheriff’s candidate Paul Joseph Pape, 56, faces charges of indecent assault and attempting to coerce a woman into sex to avoid arrest.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the charges against Pape, of Punxsutawney. The charges include indecent assault, official oppression, and obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function, in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred on Aug. 10.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the victim was told by her father there was a warrant for her arrest. She contacted Pape to confirm the warrant. Pape allegedly told her there was no warrant for her arrest.
The victim reportedly was in Butler and needed a ride to DuBois. Reportedly, Pape went to a meeting in New Bethlehem related to his candidacy for sheriff and made plans to go from New Bethlehem to Butler and give the victim a ride. The victim said she believed the arrangement was made as a friendly gesture, and not his acting in his capacity as a constable. Pape reportedly picked the victim up in Butler and drove to his residence instead of directly to DuBois. He invited the victim inside, then told her there was a warrant for her arrest.
Pape is then alleged to have told the victim that if she would have sex with him, he would make the warrant disappear. Pape reportedly said he never offered to exchange sex for dispatching the warrant.
The woman was subsequently hospitalized and arrested by Jefferson County probation officers and reportedly told those officers of her alleged interactions with Pape.
Pape had a preliminary hearing scheduled with Magisterial Judge Jacqueline Mizerock on Oct. 4, but the hearing was continued. The new hearing is scheduled for Nov. 6 is Judge Mizerock.