Ex-Philadelphia detective guilty of work-linked sex assault

A police car drives in Philadelphia

A police car drives in Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A veteran Philadelphia homicide detective was convicted of sexually assaulting or exploiting three male witnesses in a case that has led prosecutors to review dozens of homicide convictions.

Former detective Philip Nordo, 56, was taken into custody after the jury verdict Wednesday. A 2019 grand jury report accused him of using his position to intimidate and groom male suspects and witnesses into sexual acts.

The investigation has already contributed to the reversal of several homicide convictions, including one involving a special needs athlete killed over his headphones.

“We are going to hold people accountable, civilian or law enforcement, when they commit terrible crimes,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said Wednesday. “That means we have to reconsider dozens of homicide convictions. It means there will be — there have been — exonerations.”

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The defense team said that Nordo plans to appeal.

“There were enormous credibility issues with all three of these witness or complainants, and each of them told very different stories from the versions of events that they told the grand jury,” lawyer Richard J. Fuschino Jr. said.

Prosecutors dropped more than half the charges before trial when they could not locate a fourth accuser. The jury then convicted Nordo on all of the remaining charges, including rape, stalking, official oppression and attempted sexual assault.

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Nordo was charged in a 2019 grand jury presentment. The report said the meetings took place in hotel rooms, interview rooms and police vehicles, sometimes after Nordo displayed his firearm.

The theft charge involves allegations that Nordo filed false claims for $20,000 in city reward money and other funds to give to victims. Some of the reward money was intended to aid in the investigation of a slain officer, Krasner said.

Nordo is set to be sentenced in August.

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