Bradford County, Pennsylvania District Attorney Chad Salsman has been charged with sexual assault, indecent assault, intimidation of witnesses, and obstruction of justice. The charges date back to Salsman’s time in private practice before he was elected to the district attorney position in 2019 and allegedly involved forced sexual acts with five different women.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the charges earlier this week:
“Chad Salsman regularly used his position and authority as a lawyer to coerce his victims into engaging in sexual acts on him. He would take her to his private office under the guise of discussing her case and use his knowledge of his clients’ vulnerabilities to deny their consent and sexually assault them, ”said AG Shapiro. “Salsman selected these victims because they had no choice but to think they would be easy to silence and less likely to be believed if they ever come forward. As the attorney general, it is my responsibility to stand up for people in need of a voice in our Commonwealth. “
The announcement also indicated that the five women who came forward were able to confirm details known only to the victims. One thing they had in common was that Salsman reportedly hunted them down when they felt most vulnerable:
“Five independent women as defense lawyers experienced the same pattern of advancement, coercion and assault by Mr. Salsman. They had to rely on Salsman to be their lawyer to represent them at a time when they felt powerless and instead they were persecuted, ”said AG Shapiro.
The reported details of Salsman’s alleged attacks paint a strong pattern:
According to Shapiro’s claims, Salsman would intimidate the women and force them into unwanted sexual acts on his desk, then usher them into a bathroom in his office to clean up.
Salsman law firm officials said he had a policy of playing music, making noise machines, or running air conditioning to drown out the noises at client meetings. They also said they had repeatedly seen customers leave his office in tears.
Salsman is represented by Samuel Stretton, who said his client was “absolutely and utterly innocent” and promised to “fight this vigorously”.
Kathryn Rubino is Senior Editor at Above the Law and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best so please connect with her. Feel free to email her tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@ Kathryn1).