Wilkes-Barre officer faces rape, assault charges

HARRISBURG — A Wilkes-Barre officer has been arrested for the alleged sexual assault of four women while he was on duty between August 2013 and December 2014, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday.

Robert Collins, 53, faces three counts of rape, two counts of aggravated indecent assault, four counts of witness intimidation, false imprisonment and related charges. He is currently suspended without pay pending an investigation, WNEP reports.

In three cases, Collins allegedly forced the victim to perform oral sex on him after he searched the woman, found small amounts of controlled substances and/or drug paraphernalia and placed her in his police car.  He threatened arrest and other negative police action prior to the assault.

In the fourth case, Collins — who has been with the department since 2007 — encountered the victim walking, compelled her to get into the police car and locked the doors before allegedly digitally penetrating her.

“This case is reprehensible – the perpetrator is a public official, someone who the community entrusted to protect them,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “My Office will prosecute sexual assault offenders to the fullest extent of the law, no matter who they are. As Attorney General, I will not allow any person in power to abuse their position – without fear or favor.”

State Police are investigating the case with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Scranton Office and Wilkes-Barre Police.

Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation should contact State Police – Wyoming Barracks at 570-697-2000.

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