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Woman accused of lying about rape drops similar claim against 2nd trooper

A woman charged with lying when she reported she had been raped by a trooper dropped a restraining order alleging a similar sexual assault by another trooper


By James Halpin
The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

PLAINS TWP., Pa. — A township woman charged with lying when she reported she had been raped by a Pennsylvania State Police trooper on Tuesday dropped a restraining order alleging a similar sexual assault by another trooper.

Christine A. Cromer, 37, of 237 Maffett St., is facing charges of filing false reports for reporting that Trooper Robert Covington, a Bureau of Gaming Enforcement officer, forced himself on her in November 2016, after she tried to break off a relationship with him.

Pictured is Christine A. Cromer. (Photo/Pennsylvania State Police)
Pictured is Christine A. Cromer. (Photo/Pennsylvania State Police)

Police say Cromer, who for months posted fliers and sought to publicize her cause, gave “multiple and inconsistent stories” about the alleged attack in an unmarked police car outside Mohegan Sun Pocono, where she worked at the time as a cocktail waitress.

Prior to being charged, Cromer obtained a temporary sexual-violence protection order against trooper Sgt. Daniel Jones, who interviewed her about the allegations against Covington. In her application, Cromer alleged Jones “forced himself” on her in a car behind the casino.

But in court Tuesday, with a group of investigators prepared to listen intently to her sworn testimony, Cromer announced that she had decided to drop the claim.

Jones’ attorney, William T. Jones of Scranton, said he would “vehemently object” to dismissal, arguing that dismissal would leave a filing that could tarnish the record of a trooper with a “stellar reputation.”

“This matter was filed with one intention: To intimidate a police officer who had nothing to do with the allegations,” William Jones said.

After hearing legal arguments, Senior Judge Linda K.M. Ludgate, visiting from Berks County, said dismissing the complaint with prejudice would allow for the record to be expunged and be in line with legal precedent. Cromer did not oppose that resolution.

According to the charges against Cromer, she told investigators she got into a relationship with Covington that began when the trooper approached her because of her husband’s involvement in the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Covington offered to take Cromer on a cruise and to protect her, she claimed.

While Cromer claimed Covington had been pursuing her, casino employees reported that she was in fact “infatuated” with Covington, according to police.

Cromer initially denied having a sexual relationship with Covington, but later said they did have consensual sex in the car sometime in August 2016, according to police.

Police further allege that Cromer had no evidence to back up her rape story and could not even provide investigators with Covington’s phone number. Cromer also described the car where the alleged assault took place in as having a front bench seat, when in fact the vehicle has a large center console containing a radio, according to police.

Covington, meanwhile, maintained he had never been in a relationship with her, nor had ever communicated with her outside the casino.

Cromer remains free after posting $30,000 bail following her arraignment last week. She is due back in court for a preliminary hearing today.

©2017 The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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