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Mouchette waives preliminary hearing; charges against police chief head to county court

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 10/8/18

Middletown’s suspended former police chief is to be arraigned in Dauphin County Court on Dec. 7 on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman in his office Aug. 13.

George Mouchette, 48, of …

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Mouchette waives preliminary hearing; charges against police chief head to county court

Posted

Middletown’s suspended former police chief is to be arraigned in Dauphin County Court on Dec. 7 on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman in his office Aug. 13.

George Mouchette, 48, of Derry Township, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday before District Judge Kenneth A. Lenker on charges of felony aggravated indecent assault without consent, felony criminal attempt-rape forcible compulsion, and misdemeanor unlawful restraint/serious bodily injury.

However, Mouchette waived the preliminary hearing as of Saturday, according to online court records.

In doing so, Mouchette waived his right to contest any of the charges at the district judge level, so all three charges against him will proceed directly to Dauphin County Court.

Mouchette’s private defense attorney, Brian W. Perry, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Mouchette is still employed by the borough. His status remains suspended without pay, as per action taken by Mayor James H. Curry III when the criminal charges against Mouchette were filed Aug. 21.

Curry also Aug. 21 appointed Sgt. Dennis Morris as interim Middletown police chief. Borough council on Sept. 4 ratified the appointment.

The charges against Mouchette stem from an investigation by the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office into an alleged incident that occurred in Mouchette’s office in the police station between 9 and 10 a.m. Aug. 13.

According to court documents filed by the DA’s office, Mouchette while in uniform grabbed a woman who was in his office for professional reasons by the arm, forced her up on his desk, pulled her dress up and penetrated her with his fingers.

According to the complaint, the woman repeatedly told Mouchette “no,” and then the chief allegedly tried to insert his penis into the woman’s vagina.

The woman kept telling Mouchette “no” and “stop,” according to the complaint, but Mouchette did not stop until the woman agreed to meet with the chief outside of the police department, the complaint said.

According to the affidavit of probable cause included in the arrest papers filed by the DA’s office, Mouchette during a phone conversation with the victim Aug. 17 acknowledged that the incident took place in his office and “apologized many times for his actions.”

The affidavit does not say that the phone conversation was recorded by investigators with the DA’s office, but District Attorney Fran Chardo told the Press & Journal that “it would have been prosecutorial malpractice for us not to attempt a consensual phone call in a case like this.”

Per its policy, the Press & Journal is not naming the alleged victim.

A retired New York City police detective, Mouchette was appointed by Curry as Middletown’s interim police chief in January 2017 to replace John Bey, who had resigned as chief in December 2016 after holding the position just more than two years.

Council made Mouchette the chief on a permanent basis in August 2017, at an annual salary of $96,000.

Mouchette remains free after posting $25,000 bail.