Chester police officer faces indecent assault, official oppression charges
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 10, 2016
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610.891.4163
Media, Pa – Today Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan announced that a 7-year police officer of the Chester Police Department is facing indecent assault, official oppression and indecent exposure charges for using his position of authority to coerce female detainees into acts for his own sexual gratification.
Roosevelt Turner, 37 of the 1100 block of Spruce Street, Chester, is charged with three counts of official oppression, indecent exposure and indecent assault without the consent of others. He was arrested this morning by detectives with the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and video jncondition that the defendant stay away from victims.
The investigation was conducted by Sgt. John Kelly of the Delaware County CID Special Investigations Unit after reports were received from female detainees who stated that they were mistreated in a sexual manner by Officer Roosevelt Turner during the time they were in police custody at the Chester Police Department located at 106 W. 7th Street.
During the course of the investigation, Sgt. Kelly interviewed a female who stated that in August 2015 she was arrested and detained by Chester Police. She told detectives that while in the cell block, Officer Turner came to the cell and asked her how she was doing. She told him she was cold so Officer Turner moved her to another cell, saying “it might be warmer and you owe me for that.” When she stood up he told her “you got a nice butt.”
At one point she asked Officer Turner if she could use her phone. Officer Turner stated that he wanted to see some photos and video of her first. When the victim showed him a photo of her face, he said “not that kind.” He then stated that he wanted to see her private area, and she responded by saying, “Excuse me?” As he was pulling down his zipper, he asked her to kiss it, meaning his penis. The victim told him no. Officer Turner then asked to see the victim’s genitals. He told her to step away from the camera view. The victim told detectives that Officer Turner told her that once the other police officer left, he wanted to have sex with her. At that time, when the victim turned around, Officer Turner was behind her, putting on a condom on his penis. According to the victim he stopped what he was doing after he heard a buzzing sound, fixed himself and regained his physical composure.
Sgt. Kelly also received two other reports from female detainees who alleged mistreatment by Officer Turner while they were in the Chester Police Department cell block area in April 2015.
One of those victims had been arrested and detained in the Chester Police Department on drug offenses in April 2015. She told detectives that during her detainment, Officer Turner repeatedly asked her to show him her underwear. She told detectives that after she showed him her underwear, Officer Turner asked to see more, so she showed him her private area thinking that the process would go faster and easier for her. When she left the Chester Police Department, Officer Turner walked her out, and asked for her phone number. On April 10, 2015 at 3:03 a.m., the victim received text messages from Officer Turner who was attempting to make contact with her. He sent a message stating “join the team.”
The third incident also occurred in April 2015, when Officer Turner asked a female detainee to show him her genitals when she was in the processing room. The victim told detectives that she thought Officer Turner was joking, but that he insisted that she show him her genitals or she would not be processed. She told detectives that she was scared so she showed him her genitals by pulling her pants outward to expose her genitals. At that point, Officer Turner reached over and pulled at her pants so he could see more, touching her thigh with his hand. After that, he continued to process her. Several days later, she got a Facebook message from Officer Turner asking if she was home and sent her a message stating, “Wow! Thanks for the enjoyable time.”
District Attorney Jack Whelan commended Sgt. John Kelly and the members of the Criminal Investigation Division for their work on the investigation.
“Officer Roosevelt used his position of authority to coerce and intimidate these women into acts for his own sexual gratification,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “His behavior is extremely offensive. As a police officer, he took an oath to serve and protect the residents of Chester, and for that reason we hold him to a higher standard of conduct.”
“We take any allegation of misconduct seriously. At this time, the Officer in question has been suspended. We will work with the District Attorney’s Office and CID throughout the entire investigation,” said Chester Police Commissioner Darren Alston.
Roosevelt Turner was arrested by CID detectives this morning. He was video arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Diane Holefelder who set bail at ten percent of $25,000 which he posted. The preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3/23/16.
Anyone with information or believes they may have been victimized is urged to contact CID Sgt. Kelly at 610-891-4851.