A former Philadelphia police officer has been acquitted of charges of unlawful restraint, deviant sexual intercourse, and related offenses in connection with an encounter with a man in Fairmount Park.
Michael Paige, 41, was acquitted Friday by Common Pleas Court Judge Anthony J. DeFino after a day of testimony, Paige's attorney, Gerald Stanshine, said.
Police had said that on March 16, Paige was in uniform and in a marked patrol car when he stopped a car occupied by two men in Fairmount Park. Paige then took one of the men to a secluded area of the park, where he "engaged in non-consensual sexual activity," according to police.
Stanshine said testimony indicated that the alleged victim was questioned by Paige and that he dropped off his companion and later drove back to the park, looking for Paige, at which time the two had a consensual sexual encounter.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipoletti said the alleged victim testified that he returned to the park to retrieve "paperwork" from the traffic stop from Paige.
After the incident, Paige, a 171/2-year veteran of the force who was attached to the 92d District in the park, was fired.
"My guess is that he wants his job back," Stanshine said of Paige. "It's been a long time for him to be waiting to have a full hearing on this. He's extremely relieved to have his name cleared."