PUNXSUTAWNEY — Former Jefferson County Constable Paul Joseph Pape, 56, of Punxsutawney, appeared for his preliminary hearing with Magisterial Judge Jacqueline Mizerock on Wednesday.
Pape faces charges of indecent assault, official oppression, and obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function, in connection with an Aug. 10 incident. These charges were filed by Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Sept. 30.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the victim of the alleged assault was told by her father there was a warrant for her arrest and contacted Pape to confirm the warrant. Pape allegedly told her there was no warrant for her arrest.
The victim reportedly was in Butler and needed a ride to DuBois. Reportedly, Pape went to a democratic meeting in New Bethlehem related to his candidacy for sheriff and made plans to go from New Bethlehem to Butler and give the victim a ride. The victim said she believed the arrangement was made as a friendly gesture, and not his acting in his capacity as a constable. Pape reportedly picked the victim up in Butler and drove to his residence instead of directly to DuBois. He invited the victim inside, then told her there was a warrant for her arrest.
Pape is then alleged to have told the victim that if she would have sex with him, he would make the warrant disappear. Pape reportedly has said he never offered to exchange sex for dispatching the warrant.
The woman was subsequently hospitalized and arrested by Jefferson County probation officers and reportedly told those officers of her alleged interactions with Pape.
After having the hearing continued once in October, Pape appeared for his hearing on Nov. 6. The case was held for court, which means enough evidence was established during the hearing to move the case on to the Court of Common Pleas. His bail has been set at $30,000 unsecured.
A notice of intent to waive formal arraignment at the Common Pleas Court has already been filed as well.