The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office has refiled a felony charge against a Lancaster police sergeant, according to a LancasterOnline.com report.
Sgt. Raymond Corll, 55, will again face the perjury charge stemming from an incident in March 2014. He is accused of lying under oath, making two false arrests and assaulting one person during the incident.
Other charges from the incident have proceeded, but the perjury charge was dismissed in April because of a lack of evidence, according to LancasterOnline.com.
Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray previously said he and his administration view the matter with “grave concern,” adding that Corll’s alleged behavior is serious and unacceptable. Corll has been on paid administrative leave since the charges were filed. The victim in the incident, Steve Widdowson has been paid $150,000 by the city.
The new filing will give prosecutors the opportunity to present sufficient evidence. In addition to refiling the charge, a motion requesting the preliminary hearing be heard in front of another judge was also filed, according to LancasterOnline.com. The hearing date has yet to be scheduled.
Facts of the case
In the early morning hours of March 8, 2014, Corll arrested Steve Widdowson for public intoxication in the city. Corll later admitted to striking Widdowson, a soccer coach at Millersville University, and throwing him to the ground during the arrest/
After his arrest, Widdowson filed a complaint with the Lancaster police alleging excessive force. Police agreed, deciding Corll went beyond what is considered acceptable or permitted force under department guidelines. Corll was disciplined in March of 2014 and the matter was considered closed.
The issue reemerged that July, following Widdowson’s summary trial on the public drunkenness count filed by Corll. Widdowson was found guilty at trial but appealed his conviction, which prompted a review by the county district attorney’s office. The charge against Widdowson was dropped following the appeal.
In November of 2015, the county DA announced an internal investigation into the matter. The investigation was ultimately handed to the state’s Attorney General to avoid any potential conflict of interest. In March, then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced charges of perjury and assault against Corll stemming from Widdowson’s arrest.
The office found that Corll lied on the stand during Widdowson’s trial, claiming Widdowson appeared intoxicated in the moments leading up to their encounter. Surveillance video taken in the area at the time showed Widdowson did not appear intoxicated before the police encounter. Authorities say Widdowson also did not appear intoxicated during or immediately following his arrest.