Illegal wiretap and official oppression charges filed against fired Gettysburg police officer
GETTYSBURG — The Adams County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that it is bringing Pennsylvania Wiretap Act and Official Oppression charges against a Gettysburg Borough police officer fired earlier this week.
Michael J. Carricato, 28, of the 100 block of P Street, Steelton, is being charged after an investigation earlier this year indicated that he had made an audio/video recording of Gettysburg Borough Police Officer Brandi Courtsis without her consent.
According to the criminal complaint, Carricato allegedly made the recording on Dec. 5, 2015, according to the time stamp on the video. He was apparently wearing a body camera when he made the recording, the criminal complaint says.
Courtsis filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the borough and several officers, including Carricato, on Feb. 14, according to WITF.org. In the lawsuit, she alleges that she was ignored by her superiors for two years when she complained that Carricato was sexually harassing her, and that some members of the department retaliated against her for complaining.
The lawsuit is seeking $100,000 in damages, WITF says.
Detectives viewed the video on March 8 after receiving a referral from Gettysburg Police Chief Joseph Dougherty, who provided them with a thumb drive containing the footage, the criminal complaint says.
On the video, the person wearing a body camera approaches Courtsis and initiates a personal conversation, following her from her desk to different areas of the police station. After about six minutes, Courtsis is heard saying “Are you recording me?” The person wearing the camera is heard admitting he is. Courtsis is heard repeatedly indicating she did not know, and did not consent to, being recorded.
During an interview with detectives on March 29, Courtsis said she did not notice the red indicator light on the body camera was on until several minutes into the conversation, the arrest affidavit says. She said she did not know she was being recorded until that time, and did not consent to being recorded.
Carricato admitted to wearing the body camera and recording Courtsis in an interview with detectives on March 30.
According to WITF, Carricato was placed on administrative leave on March 15. The Gettysburg Borough Council voted 6-0 to fire him at a meeting Tuesday.
The Adams County district attorney announced the charges against Carricato on Friday. A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 22, the DA’s office says.