Charges have been dropped in two of three sexual assault cases against a former Philadelphia police inspector.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Philadelphia district attorney's office on Friday withdrew the second case against former inspector Carl Holmes Jr. in a week, leaving only one case against him.
Holmes, 55, was charged in 2019 with sexual assault of three female officers after a grand jury probe concluded that he abused his power after mentoring female officers at the police academy and in other roles. The charges came two years after the city settled a female detective’s sexual harassment lawsuit involving him for $1.25 million.
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The woman whose case was withdrawn Friday read a statement during the online court hearing saying she doesn't agree with the decision but took part in the process even though it has been “retraumatizing."
Prosecutors earlier withdrew another case after the former officer involved failed to appear during a preliminary hearing. Those charges had previously been dismissed by a judge for lack of prosecution but were refiled by the district attorney's office.
Defense attorney Gregory Pagano has argued that Holmes is innocent and has been the victim of what he likens to a “witch hunt." In a motion to dismiss the case last fall, he said the allegations had received wide press coverage and the complainants “have exhaustively litigated civil claims" against the department for about a decade.
Pagano also filed a motion Friday to disqualify the prosecutor’s office from the case, saying the district attorney failed to disclose that while a defense attorney, he represented a man who was shot seven times by Holmes during a 1994 robbery of a west Philadelphia convenience store.
The district attorney’s office declined comment on both of Friday’s developments, the newspaper reported.