A former Philadelphia school police officer has been charged with child sex abuse for incidents in 2013, around the time he faced public scrutiny for misconduct involving juveniles.
Howard Rubin, 51, was arrested Jan. 31 on 12 counts and is being held on $3 million bail, court records show.
The most serious charge, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse — an adult engaging in sodomy with a person 15 or younger — is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The charges also include witness/victim intimidation, statutory sexual assault of a person 11 years or older, indecent assault of a person under 13 years old, and displaying obscene sexual materials.
The online dockets do not include details of the charges, and the coronavirus pandemic has closed city courts and limited access to records.
A Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson referred questions about the case to the District Attorney’s Office. Jane Roh, spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office, declined to comment, saying it is an open case.
The online records show that Rubin’s alleged crimes took place on or before July 2013, when Rubin worked as a police officer at Multicultural Academy Charter School in Hunting Park.
About a year later, the school fired Rubin, citing a police investigation into claims of inappropriate behavior with students.
In the termination letter, dated Sept. 13, 2014, a copy of which was obtained by The Inquirer, principal James Higgins wrote that “some serious allegations have been made against you, which are now being investigated by police.… While we have yet to complete our investigation, we have determined that your behavior, at the very least, and even by your own admission, was unbecoming of a school police officer and a public employee.”
Two weeks later, CBS3 reported Rubin’s firing and said he was under investigation in the sexual assault of a male student. The school’s principal denied the story in a letter to parents the following day.
No charges were filed. And that November, Rubin, a Northeast Philadelphia native who had spent more than 20 years working in security at Philadelphia schools, sued the TV station for defamation and invasion of privacy.
During the litigation, CBS3 obtained his Multicultural Academy personnel file, which said that two days before his termination the school had received three complaints of sexually inappropriate behavior by Rubin with boys, court filings show.
In dismissing Rubin’s lawsuit in October 2015, Common Pleas Court Judge Karen Shreeves-Johns cited his school personnel file, which contained graphic details about his alleged sexual advances and grooming of boys.
Rubin appealed to Superior Court to have his lawsuit against CBS3 reinstated, and the lower court ruling was reversed in July 2017. But three months later, Rubin withdrew the case, court records show.
Rubin has moonlighted as a security guard for rappers and other recording artists, including Biggie Smalls, who he claimed gave him the nickname “the Philly Hip Hop Cop.”
His court-appointed lawyer on the current charges, William Christopher Montoya, said he couldn’t speak to the allegations and has not yet spoken to Rubin because the city courts and jails have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.