What exactly does the charge of “official oppression” mean?

A 27 year old Philadelphia Police Officer is accused of assaulting a woman in August while he was on duty.  Keith Corley faces charges of rape, indecent exposure and an offense called “official oppression.”The charge of “official oppression” can be brought against someone in a position of authority, like a police officer or a prison guard, says Fortunato Perri Jr., a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia.  “They abuse that authority while on duty and engage in unlawful conduct with individuals who are in their custody,” said Perri.  “Often times it is charged in connection with sex offenses but not necessarily.  I have represented police officers, deputy sheriffs, and corrections officers who have been charged with sex offenses in connection with people in their custody.”Perri says in these cases, it makes the most sense to try to defend against the underlying charges, not the accusation of “official oppression.”

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