TOWANDA, BRADFORD COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Bradford County District Attorney has been arrested. He’s facing sexual assault charges.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro made the announcement.
State police brought Salsman out of the magistrate’s office in handcuffs Wednesday afternoon. A grand jury investigation determined Salsman repeatedly used his position to pressure vulnerable female clients into sexual contact at his law office.
“For routinely assaulting women that he represented as a private attorney and his efforts to obstruct the investigation during his time as this county’s district attorney,” said Shapiro.
According to court documents, five women experienced the same patterns of coercion and assault from Salsman. Shapiro said Salsman would ask these female clients for nude photos or grope them during a meeting or in court.
Shapiro said Salsman would pressure them into sexual acts in lieu of legal fees and threaten them into silence.
One victim said Salsman sent her pictures he took of her house without her knowledge. Another victim said after Salsman assaulted her, he contacted her and told her to keep quiet or he would ruin her life.
The grand jury alleges Salsman knew these clients were in vulnerable positions and used that against them.
“Some even had a history themselves of being sexually assaulted. These are the people that Salsman targeted for his own sick gratification,” said Shapiro.
Executive director of the Abuse and Rape Crisis Center of Bradford County, Amy Miller, said it’s often about power and control. The organization is calling for Salsman to resign.
“We’re looking at how they’re using those tools of power and control to get the victim to do what they want to do and keep the abuse secret.”
Members of Salsman’s staff testified that Salsman went to great lengths to hide what he was doing, such as asking his secretary to play music or use an air conditioner or noise machine to drown out noise. Staff members witnessed multiple women leave Salsman’s office in tears or distress.
Salsman denies these claims.
The case was referred to the attorney general’s office in 2019 by then-district attorney Daniel Barrett. This investigation focuses on five women but Shapiro said they know of a number of additional assaults that happened outside of Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations.
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