Bradford County District Attorney Chad Salsman has been charged with alleged sexual assault against five women who were his clients during his private practice.
According to an ABA Journal report, the District Attorney was charged by a state investigative grand jury, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday.
Salsman won an election for district attorney in 2019. The outgoing district attorney referred the case against Salsman to Shapiro, according to the PhillyVoice.
“Chad Salsman would regularly use his position and power as an attorney to coerce his victims into performing sexual acts on him,” Shapiro alleged in a press release. “He would bring them into his private office, under the guise of discussing their case, and used his knowledge of his clients’ vulnerabilities to negate their consent and sexually assault them.”
Some of the clients were criminal defendants, while others were involved in custody cases. Shapiro alleged that Salsman took advantage of the women’s vulnerable conditions to exploit and then silence them.
They did not know each other
Salsman is accused of allegedly having sexual intercourse with three of the women, having indecent contact with those three women and two others, waiving attorney fees for sexual intercourse with one of the women, trying to intimidate the women to prevent them from reporting the misconduct to police or prosecutors, and suggesting that one of the them should not cooperate in the investigation.
The five women didn’t know each other, and they corroborated information known only to other victims, Shapiro said.
The charges include sexual assault, indecent assault, witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.
Salsman’s lawyer, Samuel Stretton, told Law.com that the charges are not accurate, and Salsman is “absolutely and totally innocent.” Stretton vowed to “fight this vigorously.”