Ex-cop awaiting teen-sex trial warned to stay clear of girls

Posted: June 13, 2014

WALTER SASSE, the retired Philadelphia cop awaiting trial for allegedly having sex with a teenage girl, was warned yesterday to avoid contact with all underage females - or else.

"Common sense tells you in instances like this, if there is a female under 18 you need to run the other way," Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn Bright said. "You are awaiting trial. You can wait in jail or out of jail."

The stern words came at the end of a bail-modification hearing requested by Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp.

She told the judge that another city prosecutor, Catherine Smith, reported seeing Sasse hugging another teenage girl who was dressed in horse-riding attire at a May 18 children's horse show at Northwestern Stables, Northwestern and Germantown avenues in Chestnut Hill.

Smith, who rides horses at Northwestern and helped organize the show, said she began to watch Sasse after another prosecutor from Northampton County informed her that he was at the show.

Sasse, who is free on bail, put one arm around the shoulder of the girl who looked to be 14 or 15 years old, Smith said, then hugged her, causing their chests to touch. She estimated that, at one point, Sasse had his arm around the girl for two minutes.

"I felt it was very inappropriate what he was doing," said Smith, adding that she did not confront him because she did not believe he committed a crime but told her supervisor in the event that he violated his bail terms.

Sasse, who spent most of his career as a city cop in the elite Mounted Patrol Unit, testified that he did not hug the girl in May and did not know Northwestern Stables was the new riding home of the girl who accused him of sexual assault.

Sasse, 76, was arrested March 5 and charged with assaulting that girl starting when she was 15 at Courtesy Stables in Andorra, where he worked giving riding lessons.

Defense attorney Anthony Voci said Sasse had not violated any bail terms in May and previously said he was not guilty of the sexual-assault charges.

Kemp, however, revealed for the first time yesterday that text messages between Sasse and his accuser will be presented at his July 2015 trial to prove that he had a sexual relationship with his accuser.

Kemp told Bright the evidence will show that when the girl tried to end the relationship, Sasse threatened to kill himself, asked to meet with her, showed her a picture of his handgun and started showing up wherever she was.

Bright modified Sasse's bail terms, barring him from visiting Northwestern Stables. She also restricted his visits to Courtesy Stables to Sundays between 6 and 8:30 p.m., during which he is allowed to ride his horse, Eli, with adults only.

She ruled that he can continue to perform administrative duties for the Devon Horse Show and the Dressage at Devon Horse Show.

At no time, she said, is Sasse to have contact with girls under 18. "If you violate this, there will be severe consequences," Bright told Sasse.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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