Woman pleads guilty to falsely accusing officer

Posted: June 15, 2013

A Montgomery County woman pleaded guilty to perjury and related charges Wednesday, admitting she lied under oath about being sexually assaulted and stalked by a Lower Merion Township police officer.

Gabrielle Drexler, 28, of Bryn Mawr, had a consensual romance with Officer Michael John in summer 2010. When she learned he was married with children, she turned on him, a grand jury said.

The incident came to light in May 2011 when she appeared at a commissioners meeting, broadcast on a cable-access channel, and claimed that John groped and stalked her.

Drexler presented doctored e-mails to investigators to support her accusations, the grand jury said.

John was assigned temporarily to desk duty. A grand jury concluded that he had behaved unprofessionally but that no crime had been committed.

Drexler also claimed that another Lower Merion officer had falsely imprisoned her after she came forward with the allegations against John.

Drexler was asked for identification while she and another person, at 4 a.m., were in a car that was parked behind local businesses, according to John Neumann Gradel, the assistant district attorney handling the case. When the officer found nothing amiss, he let the pair go, Gradel said.

A civil lawsuit filed by Drexler against the township was pending.

A date for sentencing in the perjury case has not yet been scheduled, Gradel said.


Contact Mari A. Schaefer

at 610-313-8111 or mschaefer@phillynews.com,

or follow on Twitter @MariSchaefer.

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