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Victim testifies in sex abuse case involving officer

By Staff | Apr 18, 2019

MONTGOMERY – With her right hand wrapped around a small package of tissues, the woman on the stand spent about 30 minutes re-telling her ordeal of being allegedly sexually assaulted by Montgomery Patrolman Laurence Wilcox, a one-time police chief of the borough.

“He took my underwear off with his hands. He was trying to get inside me,” the woman testified Tuesday at the 69-year-old police officer’s preliminary hearing.

“He was trying to get on top of me. I kept telling him ‘No, no, no.’ I was crying. He got really mad. He got up and hollered, ‘I’m tired of your games,'” the woman told District Judge Christian Frey.

The victim said she kept her legs crossed to prevent Wilcox from allegedly raping her.

Frey was handling the hearing after District Judge Jon E. Kemp recused himself from hearing the case.

On the stand, the woman also said Wilcox allegedly touched her “down in my privates.”

At the end of the hearing, Frey dismissed one count of aggravated indecent assault, but reserved his decision on the three other state police criminal counts Wilcox faces, including attempted rape, sexual assault and indecent assault.

Wilcox, who has a lengthy career in Lycoming County law enforcement, remains free on $75,000 bail.

The alleged assault occurred during the early-morning hours of July 6 and occurred in the woman’s Clinton Township home after Wilcox, while on duty, picked her up in his cruiser after she had left a local club, Trooper Daniel Switzer, the lead investigator, said in court records.

Four days after the alleged attempted rape, the victim went to the state police barracks in Montoursville and reported the assault.

On the stand, the woman said she went to the police because, “something bad happened to me indecent exposure. He wanted to do something to me, have sex with me,” referring to Wilcox.

“I know I had been drinking,” the woman said. There were often long pauses between her remarks.

During cross examination, Wilcox’s attorney, Michael J. Rudinski, asked the woman “He (Wilcox) has taken you home 40 to 60 times, isn’t that (true)?”

“I don’t know,” the woman replied.

When the investigation began, both the woman and Wilcox told investigators the officer took her home, “several times,” according to what Switzer wrote in an affidavit.

“What was the first thing you did when he brought you home? Did you talk?” Rudinski asked the woman.

“I don’t know,” she answered.

“Did you dress yourself,” the attorney asked her.

After a long pause, the victim replied “I’m thinking he helped me put my pajamas on.”

“You’re thinking? Are you sure?” Rudinski asked.

“No, I’m not sure,” she answered him.

After allegedly attempting to assault her sexually, the on-duty officer got dressed and left the property, the woman testified.

During the hearing Rudinski also asked her, “Was he (Wilcox) ever in your (home) before when you both were in a state of undress?”

“Not that I remember,” she answered.

Wilcox resigned from Montgomery police department in August.

A long-time police officer in Muncy, he has been removed from all police responsibilities with that department since the state police investigation began, borough Police Chief James Dorman told the Sun-Gazette in late January, when Wilcox was charged. Wilcox is no longer employed as an officer in Muncy.

In DuBoistown, where Wilcox was hired as a part-time officer in January 2018, the officer put himself “on administrative leave and has not worked a single shift since (the investigation began)” borough Police Chief Norm Hager said immediately after Wilcox’s arrest.

After reviewing testimony presented by the victim as well as case law, District Judge Christian Frey threw out a felony charge of attempted rape against former Montgomery Patrolman Laurence Wilcox, but held him on charges of felony attempted sexual assault and misdemeanor indecent assault.

Frey made the ruling on Friday. He dismissed another charge, aggravated indecent assault, on Tuesday at the conclusion of Wilcox’s preliminary hearing.

Frey ruled there was insufficient evidence to support the two charges that have been dismissed.

In late January, Wilcox, 69, a former Montgomery police chief whose local law enforcement career spans decades, was arrested by state police on charges of allegedly attempting to rape a woman in her home after he picked her up in a Montgomery police cruiser while on duty during the early morning hours of July 6.

Investigators said both Wilcox and the victim told them that Wilcox had picked her up in Montgomery and taken her to her home “several times,” according to court records.

On the stand Tuesday for about 30 minutes, the victim, testified on how she was sexually assaulted allegedly by Wilcox. She was the sole prosecution witness at the hearing.

Besides the Montgomery Police Department, Wilcox, who is free on $75,000 bail, also was employed by the Muncy and DuBoistown Police Departments. However, he is no longer on the payroll of any of the three departments.