HomeLatest NewsEx-Police Chief Behind Bars: Shocking Sexual Assault Allegations at Pennsylvania Rehab Center

Ex-Police Chief Behind Bars: Shocking Sexual Assault Allegations at Pennsylvania Rehab Center

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Former police chief John E. Berger is behind bars for sexually assaulting a patient at a rehab center in Donegal (Pennsylvania). John E. Berger was arrested Friday at the Westmoreland County Jail. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

Berger was arrested after allegations surfaced that he assaulted a former patient of DreamLife Recovery, a rehab center for addiction where he previously had been a client. He has been working at the facility since May 2023, when he lost his position as chief of police after a federal raid.

Berger and the victim first met last year, when both were patients at DreamLife.

She told the police, “Berger made unwanted sexual advances toward her almost every week if not every day.”

According to the police report, these advances began again in March after the victim returned to DreamLife.

Police paperwork says that Berger entered the victim’s bedroom around 11 pm on Monday, whispered her name, and then “forcefully kissed her”.

The State Police claim that he then groped the woman and forced her into oral sex.

Beranek stated, “I never would have thought a police officer would do that.”

Investigators claim Berger confessed to the charges in an interview Friday with State Police.

Berger began to contact the victim when she returned from the clinic. Not long after, he started acting inappropriately towards her.

In March, the accuser returned as a client to the center to discover Berger had now been hired as a behavioral healthcare technician. According to court documents, he continued with his unwanted sexual advances. He also bought her cigarettes and nicotine patches.

Police said that he assaulted her on Monday in her bedroom. According to court documents, video surveillance showed that he was in the room for at least five minutes.

Berger then sent the accuser an invitation to become friends on Facebook two days later. The police said that employees aren’t allowed to contact discharged patients for two years.

Residents of the community and Berger’s former colleagues are still grappling with the seriousness of the accusations. Zachary Buchholz, a reporter at the time, said: “There is no excuse for this honestly. But being held accountable as a police officer and falling so low like that was pretty appalling.”

The incident has raised serious questions about the hiring and oversight practices at the rehabilitation facility. The former police chief’s employment at DreamLife Recovery following his treatment as a patient attracted attention. The attorney of the organization stated that the facility takes the allegation very seriously.

Berger’s hearing preliminary is scheduled for May 17th. Berger’s case could lead to important policy changes for the police department as well as the rehab facility.

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