Lancaster City Police Sergeant found guilty of perjury

LANCASTER, Pa. - A jury has found Lancaster City Police Sergeant Raymond Corll guilty of all charges stemming from the arrest of a man who was allegedly drunk in public.

On March 8, 2014, Sergeant Corll and two other officers arrested Steven Widdowson at the intersection of North Queen and East Chestnut Streets. A friend, Tami Jones, who was walking along with Widdowson, was also cited and arrested for public drunkenness.

Sergeant Corll testified under oath in July 2014, that Widdowson was visibly drunk when he was arrested. Widdowson was convicted, but later the conviction was overturned on appeal.

In his version, Widdowson testified that he and Jones were walking and chatting when they spotted the police cruiser behind them. Police approached them as they got close to the intersection of Chestnut and North Queen Street. That's when Widdowson said there were no conversations, there were no questions and he was forcibly thrown to the ground and punched, according to the criminal complaint.

Detectives with the Lancaster County District Attorney's office obtained video recordings from the Lancaster Community Safety Coalition cameras which contradicted Corrl's testimony. Video footage from the case showed Widdowson was in fact walking normally prior to being taken into custody. He also showed no signs of staggering when he was handcuffed behind his back and walking toward a police transport, investigators said. Further video footage captured during processing at the police station also showed Widdowson did not appear to be intoxicated.

Corll was subsequently charged with perjury, false swearing, officials suppression and simple assault. The jury began it deliberation on Wednesday and returned with verdicts early Thursday afternoon.  Sentencing by Judge Dennis Reinaker will be at a later date. Corll faces a maximum penalty of seven years in state prison and a $15,000 fine on the perjury conviction.

Sergeant Corll, a 17 year old veteran of the police bureau had been on paid administrative leave since November 2015.