In a tear-filled disclosure, a Lower Merion woman took the lectern last night at a township commissioners meeting to allege she was stalked and sexually asssaulted by a a Lower Merion police officer in 2010.
Speaking in a shaky voice during the public comment period, the 25-year-old woman alleged that the patrolman stalked her over a period of a month by sitting in a patrol car in a parking lot beneath her window.
"He saw me naked," said the woman, whose identity is being withheld by the Inquirer. "Because of this, I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder."
Further, she told the commissioners, when she reported the police officer to the township, she was "illegally detained by one of his friends."
"It was a violation of my rights," said the woman. "It took a lot of courage for me to come forward. I know I'm not the first, and I know I'm not the last. You guys can make that decision."
The woman said the matter had been troubling her "for over a year." She told the commissioners she came forward because she was looking for "justice, not money."
"I just don't want this to happen to another girl," the woman said.
The woman was accompanied at the lectern by Andy Meyers, a neighbor who has taken up her cause. In the videotaped segment, Board President Liz Rogan is seen open-mouthed with shock, just after the woman's speech.
This morning, Police Superintendent Michael McGrath was out of the office, in a training session. Speaking in his stead, Police Captain William Boegly told a reporter to call back Friday.
Brenda Viola, township spokesperson, said she had been directed by the police detective unit to assemble a DVD of the woman's public comments and forward it to the office of Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.
"Any allegations are taken seriously," Viola said. "It was very difficult for anybody to watch that last night. We are mindful that there is more than one side to a story, and that's why it needs to be thoroughly investigated by an objective party."
"The township is going to cooperate with the DA's office to insure that this matter is expedited."
Viola said she did not know the victims's identity or whether the officers allegedly involved had been assigned to desk duty.
A call to the district attorney office was not immediately returned because the top officials were attending a crime commission awards luncheon.