Retired cop awaiting trial for teen-sex rap accused of hugging another teen

Posted: June 11, 2014

WALTER SASSE, the retired mounted Philadelphia police officer awaiting trial for allegedly having a sexual affair with a high-school girl, could be in hot water again.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp told Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn Bright yesterday that Sasse, 76, was spotted hugging another teenage girl at a city horse stable.

The person who spotted Sasse and the girl within the past several weeks, Kemp said, is her colleague Assistant District Attorney Catherine Smith.

Kemp requested a bail-modification hearing, which Bright scheduled for tomorrow. The defendant is free on $50,000 bail.

Sasse, of Roxborough, was a city cop for more than 20 years, most of that time with the elite Mounted Patrol Unit.

He was arrested March 5 and charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, sexual assault and related counts in connection with his alleged illicit relationship. Sasse pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

During a March 25 preliminary hearing, his accuser, who is now 18 years old, testified that she met the retired officer at the Courtesy Stables in Andorra. Their sexual relationship began in June 2011 when she was 15, the accuser said.

Their encounters happened in the barn, at his home and many times in his truck, she said.

Defense attorney Anthony Voci Jr. said yesterday that Sasse "denies having contact with any female at the stables regardless of age."

He said Sasse only visits the stables on weekdays during school hours - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - to avoid having any contact with minors.

Kemp plans to ask the judge to ban Sasse from visiting any stables while on bail, which Voci said he will oppose.

"I want him to be able to live his life. He's presumed innocent," Voci said. "Horses are his life, his passion, his hobby."

Sasse's trial is scheduled to begin July 27, 2015. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in state prison.

Court records indicate that Sasse rejected a plea-deal offer on May 13, the terms of which were sealed.

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