Woman Convicted Of Making False Rape Claims Against Two Troopers
Wilkes-Barre, PA - A woman was convicted Wednesday of lying about being raped by two Pennsylvania State Troopers.
“I think we’re pleased that once jurors looked at the investigation that was done by both the Pennsylvania State Police and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, that they came to the same conclusion that we did — that (her claim) was riddled with inconsistencies and it was a false report meant to incriminate two law enforcement officers,” Assistant District Attorney Angela Sperrazza said, according to The Citizen's Voice.
Christine Cromer, 37, had been charged with filing a false police report when she first reported having been sexually assaulted by Pennsylvania State Trooper Robert Covington, a Bureau of Gaming Enforcement officer.
The investigation began when Cromer claimed that Trooper Covington raped her in November of 2016, after she tried to end a relationship with him.
Cromer told police that she started a relationship with Trooper Covington after he approached her because of her husband's involvement in the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Cromer was later convicted of dealing crystal methamphetamine with her husband.
She claimed at the time that Trooper Covington had offered to take her on a cruise, and to protect her.
Cromer told police the trooper attacked her in an unmarked police car outside the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino, where she was working as a cocktail waitress at the time.
Initially, she denied having sex with Trooper Covington, but then changed her story and told police that they had sex in his police car sometime in August of 2016.
Police said Cromer, who posted fliers and sought to publicize her cause for months, gave “multiple and inconsistent stories” about the alleged attack in the unmarked police car, according to The Citizens' Voice.
Cromer described the car that they allegedly had sex in as having a front bench seat, when in reality, the trooper's cruiser has a large center console containing a radio.
Trooper Covington denied all of Cromer's allegations, denied that he had ever had a relationship with her, and told investigators that they had never communicated outside of the casino.
Police said that there was absolutely no evidence to substantiate Cromer's claims, and she was unable to provide Trooper Covington's phone number to investigators.
Casino employees said that Cromer was "infatuated" with Trooper Covington.
Police also determined that Cromer lied when she obtained a temporary sexual-violence protection order against Pennsylvania State Trooper Sergeant Daniel Jones, who had interviewed her about her allegations against Trooper Covington.
Cromer alleged that Sergeant Jones "forced himself" on her in a car behind the casino, in her application for the order of protection against him.
In November 2017, a group of investigators gathered in a courtroom to hear Cromer's testimony about the allegations against Sergeant Jones when she suddenly announced that she did not want to proceed.
Sergeant Jones' attorney, William T. Jones, “vehemently" objected to the dismissal, and said that a dismissal would leave a filing that could tarnish the record of a trooper with a “stellar reputation," according to The Citizens' Voice.
“This matter was filed with one intention: To intimidate a police officer who had nothing to do with the allegations,” Jones’ attorney said.
The Seattle Times reported that after hearing legal arguments, Berks County Senior Judge Linda K.M. Ludgate said dismissing the complaint with prejudice would allow for the record to be expunged and be in line with legal precedent.
Cromer's defense attorney tried to claim that she was actually raped by Trooper Covington, and she had only made allegations against Sergeant Jones because authorities had presented her with a lineup while she wasn't wearing glasses.
“I couldn’t really see. The room was a little dark. There was not good lighting,” she said at trial, according to The Citizen's Voice.
Jurors convicted her after only half an hour of deliberation.
Her sentencing is scheduled for June 7.