Home Philadelphia Press Releases 2013 Indictment Charges Cop and Former Cop in Civil Rights Case

Indictment Charges Cop and Former Cop in Civil Rights Case

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 23, 2013
  • Eastern District of Pennsylvania (215) 861-8200

An indictment unsealed today charges former Philadelphia Police Officer Joseph Harvey, 39, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with deprivation of civil rights under color of law, and Philadelphia Police Officer Sean Cahill, 34, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with making a material false statement, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Both defendants were arrested this morning.

According to the indictment, Harvey, while acting under color of law as a police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department, instructed M.C. to remove all her clothing, thereby willfully depriving M.C. of the right, secured and protected by the United States Constitution and the law of the United States, to be free from an unreasonable seizure by a police officer. The indictment further alleges that defendant Cahill falsely claimed that he was with Harvey and that Harvey was never alone with M.C. at the time that M.C. alleged she was instructed by Harvey to undress.

If convicted, Harvey faces a maximum term of one year in prison, a $100,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment; Cahill faces a maximum term of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, up to three years’ supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Philadelphia Police Department Internal Affairs Bureau, with assistance from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle L. Morgan and Trial Attorney Sheldon Beer of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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