Pennsylvania Police Corporal Charged With Rape After Allegedly Promising a Driver to Drop a DUI Charge If She Had Sex With Him

A former Pennsylvania police corporal has charged with rape after he allegedly promised to drop a young woman's DUI charge if she had sex with him.

Steven Mertz, 53, is charged with compelling the woman to perform sexual acts on him in exchange for not filing charges after she was arrested for drunk driving, the Monroe County District Attorney's Office said.

Mertz, who was formerly a police corporal with the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department (PMRPD), is also charged with rape and other sexual offenses stemming from the encounter with the woman on October 16.

He is also charged with offenses related to bribery and official oppression, the district attorney's office said.

The woman was pulled over in the early hours of the morning for traffic violations and failed a roadside sobriety test, according to a police affidavit obtained by Newsweek.

Mertz agreed to drive the woman home after she was taken to a Pennsylvania State police station for blood-alcohol testing, the affidavit said. She is 26, according to WNEP.

During the drive to the woman's house, she told Mertz that she had been drinking heavily following the death of a close family member.

As they approached her home, Mertz confided in her that "his son had died recently," the affidavit said.

Mertz then allegedly suggested he would drop the DUI charge against the woman if they continued the conversation "somewhere more private."

He then allegedly drove down the woman's street and parked in a cul-de-sac and raped the woman while still in uniform, the affidavit said.

Afterward, Mertz took the woman home, allegedly kissed her and left her with his business card and the name of the judge the woman needed to see the following morning.

The woman told police she called her best friend when Mertz left and was urged to collect DNA evidence and report the alleged rape, the affidavit said.

Hours after the alleged rape, Mertz allegedly exchanged text messages with the woman, including some that were sexually explicit, according to the affidavit.

"Your [sic] not getting a DUI. Relax. Tell the judge Corporal Mertz said hello. He will probably laugh," Mertz allegedly said in one message.

"Do you want me to call the judge and smooth things up?" Mertz allegedly asked her later.

"If you think you calling will help me then yes please I'll definitely owe you one," she replied.

"I like the way you think," Mertz allegedly responded.

When the victim asked if Mertz had told anyone about their encounter, he allegedly replied: "That's our secret. No telling anyone."

Mertz's arrest was announced at a press conference by Monroe County district attorney E. David Christine, Jr. and PMRPD's Chief Christopher Wagner, Mertz's former boss, on Wednesday. He had spent 22 years on the force, according to WNEP.

Mertz, of Mahoning Township in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, appeared before Magisterial District Judge Colleen Mancuso, the district attorney's office said on Wednesday. He is in custody in the Monroe County Correctional Facility on $50,000 bail.

Newsweek has contacted the PMRDP and Monroe County District Attorney's Office for further comment.

Steven Mertz
Former Pennsylvania police corporal Steven Mertz is charged with rape and other sexual offenses related to the encounter with the woman on October 16, 2019. Monroe County District Attorney's Office
Pennsylvania Police Corporal Charged With Rape After Allegedly Promising a Driver to Drop a DUI Charge If She Had Sex With Him | U.S.