A former Philadelphia police officer was acquitted Friday of charges that he forced another man to take part in a covert rendezvous in Fairmount Park in April.
Michael Paige, 40, who had been assigned to the 92nd District, headquartered on Lincoln Drive near Gypsy Lane in East Falls, was arrested in May and charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, official oppression, sexual assault and related offenses stemming from the incident.
Police said that during the car stop, Paige took one of the male occupants from the car to a secluded section of the park and engaged in "nonconsensual sexual activity."
"It's clear that the judge did not take the testimony of the complainant as truthful," Paige's lawyer, Gerald Stanshine, said of Friday's verdict after a half-day trial.
"The court clearly found that whatever happened between the officer and the complainant was with the full consent of the complainant," Stanshine added.
"The officer was finally able to have his name cleared from the awful accusation, and now has to decide whether or not he wants to rejoin the Police Department."
Stanshine said now that the case against Paige is completed, he has a chance to return to his position in the department.
He said that if Paige seeks to return to work, either the case will be heard by a civil arbitrator or if the city and the Police Department do not contest his return, Paige could simply go back to work .
However, Stanshine said Paige would likely face internal disciplinary action because of his behavior if he returns to work. *