WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A former Wilkes-Barre police officer is once again accused of using his power to force women into sexual acts.
Robert Collins was charged Wednesday in connection with an additional four women. They say he stopped them on the street, while on duty, and said he intimidated them into performing sex acts on him in exchange for not being arrested.
The number of alleged victims now stands at eight. So says the Pennsylvania Attorney General. Collins was supposed to protect all citizens, including these women, but investigators say he abused his power and victimized these women.
Robert Collins was a sexual predator who preyed on women while he was in uniform and on duty, so says, investigators. Collins was first arrested in January for allegedly victimizing four women. Wednesday, he was charged in connection with four additional women.
“The reports of these four victims are similar to those of Collins’ first four victims. He stopped them, he searched them, and in some cases found incriminating evidence and coerced them to perform oral sex or raped them,” state attorney general Josh Shapiro said.
Shapiro says these four women came forward after seeing news reports of Collins’ first arrest.
“Anyone who is hearing these stories of sexual abuse and realize that the same thing happened to you, hear me loud and clear my office and the state police are here to help you,” Shapiro said.
And detectives understand that coming forward is not easy for victims.
“Reporting of a sexual assault and reliving the trauma caused can be difficult and the pain is amplified when the perpetrator is a police officer, a person you should look up to for safety and protection,” PA state police member Major Doug Burig said.
“This investigation is ongoing. We’ve had reports of the defendant’s pervasive actions and we believe there may be other victims or witnesses out there,” Shapiro said.
Investigators have set up a hotline number specifically for the Collins investigation. If you have any information, call 570-697-2000.
Collins maintains his innocence. He is free on $250,000 bail Wednesday.