Judge recuses himself, delaying trial for cop in sex case

Posted: November 24, 2010

The trial of fired Philadelphia Police Officer Joseph Harvey was postponed yesterday after the judge recused himself at the request of the District Attorney's Office.

Harvey, 36, who was arrested in April and charged with exposing himself to a woman he was questioning while on duty, was given a new court date of Dec. 16 in Municipal Court.

Judge Joseph C. Waters, a retired police captain, was to have presided over the nonjury trial.

But Assistant District Attorney Bob Foster said that his office had concerns because one of Waters' sons is a police officer who several years ago worked with Harvey in the 24th District, in Juniata.

"The judge might be in an uncomfortable position to make a decision regarding the case," Foster said.

A replacement judge has not yet been assigned.

Defense attorney Joseph Kelly said that he did not have a problem with Waters hearing the case.

"I think that in the warrant, there have been misrepresentations against my client," he said.

Harvey, who was a seven-year veteran of the department, is charged with indecent exposure, false imprisonment and official oppression.

Harvey's arrest stems from an incident on Oct. 9, 2009, when he was working on an investigation in plainclothes.

After entering an apartment near Kensington Avenue and Somerset Street, in Kensington, Harvey allegedly exposed himself in front of a woman in her early 20s. She immediately reported the incident, launching an Internal Affairs investigation.

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