Westmoreland prosecutors want to move officer’s rape case to Fayette |

Westmoreland prosecutors want to move officer’s rape case to Fayette

Prosecutors want to move a rape case against a former Connellsville police sergeant from Westmoreland County court to join similar accusations in Fayette County, according to court filings.

Three women in separate criminal cases allege that Ryan Thomas Reese, 43, of Connellsville sexually assaulted them while they worked for him as confidential informants in exchange for leniency in their own drug-related cases.

Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte asked Judge Rita Hathaway during a hearing Thursday to transfer the sole Westmoreland case to Fayette. The woman in the Westmoreland case originally was arrested by Reese in 2011 when she was 21 on drug charges in Fayette, but Reese is alleged to have assaulted her in Westmoreland while picking her up on a warrant, according to Schulte’s motion.

Hathaway took the matter under advisement. She ordered defense attorney Emily Smarto to file a brief outlining a legal argument in 10 days. Smarto declined to comment after the hearing.

Reese is charged with rape, sexual assault, official oppression, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and indecent assault. He is awaiting trial in the two Fayette County cases.

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