Pretrial conference held for former Wilkes-Barre police officer

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(WBRE/WYOU) — A former Wilkes-Barre police officer accused of sexually assaulting eight women while on duty was back in a courtroom Tuesday.

54-year-old Robert Collins maintains his innocence. Collins says he looks forward to his trial to clear his name. Tuesday, he and his attorney came to court seeking evidence from prosecutors.

Attorney Jordan Freeman, who represents former Wilkes-Barre police officer Robert Collins, says Collins is “unequivocally” maintaining his innocence. Collins was in Luzerne County Court for what’s called a pretrial conference.

He is accused of sexually assaulting eight women while he was on duty. he was first arrested in January 2019 in connection with four alleged victims. He was arrested a second time in June on additional charges including rape involving four more women. All of the women tell police that Collins stopped them while he was on duty and threatened to arrest them unless they performed sex acts on him. While Collins wasn’t talking Tuesday, his lawyer was.

“Today we were requesting additional evidence that the commonwealth may have or not have. They were still seeking out or seeking to provide additional evidence and we’re arguing once these pieces come together we’ll see what they don’t or they do have and we’re confident as his defense team we will get a verdict of not guilty when all is said and done,” Freeman said.

Eyewitness News asked Freeman if he could overcome the testimony of eight alleged victims who tell similar stories of what they say Collins did to them, again, while on duty.

“Once these facts the numbers for themselves don’t speak necessarily to it. It’s mostly what do the facts say. The truth will set you free and we are confident that the truth will set Mr. Collins free,” Freeman said.

Freeman is also questioning alleged statements made Collins that prosecutors plan to use in the trial. The state attorney general’s office is prosecuting the case. They had no comment after Tuesday’s hearing. In the past, they have said they have more than enough evidence to convict Collins and bring justice for the victims.

A trial date has not yet been set. It appears that it should take place early next year. Collins remains free on bail.

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