SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A northeastern Pennsylvania police chief was arrested Wednesday on witness intimidation and obstruction charges after authorities say he had sex with an alleged victim in a criminal case and told her not to tell anyone.
Scott Township Police Chief James Romano, 42, was arrested by agents of the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office.
According to court documents, Romano had sex last month with a 20-year-old woman who was an alleged victim of a former band teacher who was accused of having sex with students. Romano was one of the arresting officers in that case.
Authorities said the woman sent Romano pictures depicting partial nudity before having sex with him on March 17. Also, they said, the chief provided the woman with confidential information about the probe and told her she was “his favorite victim.”
When Romano found out the woman was going to be interviewed by a county detective who had learned of the chief’s relationship with her, the chief instructed her to “just remember nothing about me,” the criminal complaint said.
The woman texted him later, asking “… should I tell the truth?” and Romano replied “It would kill me,” court documents said.
The (Scranton) Times-Tribune says Romano was taken to Lackawanna County prison but later released after posting $150,000 bail. He was suspended without pay last month after township supervisors learned of the investigation. It wasn’t clear Wednesday afternoon if he had an attorney.