With the introduction of new evidence, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office refiled twenty-eight chargesagainst former Williamsport Cop, Eric Derr, 36, alleging that he used the police J-NET system, a secure police database, to access the private records of multiple women, some of whom he coerced into sexual relationships or harassed. It is further alleged that he ran ninety-three illegitimate checks through J-NET between June 14th, 2015, and December 11th, 2019, on twenty-eight different women including coworkers, county employees, and female suspects.
Derr had originally been charged with thirty-four crimes in December based on the same allegations. However, a magisterial district judge dismissed thirty-one of those charges at a preliminary hearing; three charges were dismissed due to an unavailable witness and twenty-eight charges were dismissed due lack of evidence to establish criminal intent.
New evidence for these charges includes further details about the alleged criminal checks on JNET. On February 12th, Derr’s sister-in-law allegedly informed police that she witnessed Derr illegitimately access JNET information before his marriage to her sister. She claims that Derr made six off-duty illegitimate JNET searches on his now wife, sent her a photo of himself holding his genitals while in uniform and in a police car, and that he sent her texts reading, in part, “I basically stalk you every day because I can’t stand being without you!” She further claims that in September 2017, Derr was seen at his wedding touching and kissing another woman whom the JNET audit shows he had performed five illegitimate JNET checks upon. Lastly, she informed police about JNET checks Derr had performed on her aunt and her older sister, which the JNET audit also confirms.
On February 15th, Special Agent David Scicchitano interviewed Williamsport Police officer, Logan Chetaitis, who informed investigators that while he was a student intern under Derr in 2018, he allegedly witnessed Derr “pull up 3-4 different women” on JNET and ask him “if he thought they were ‘hot.” Also, on February 15th, police interviewed Kaylee Miller, Chetaitis’s former girlfriend, who said that Derr had allegedly ran a JNET check upon her after meeting her through Chetaitis. Miller claims that Derr contacted her on social media and would repeatedly come to her place of employment while he was on-duty and off-duty. On one occasion, Derr allegedly came to her work and told her that he knew her address and that her registration was expired.
Moreover, Derr is alleged to have performed sixteen illegitimate JNET checks on a woman he coerced into a sexual relationship after one woman was arrested in a drug bust. This woman informed police that Derr allegedly ran JNET checks on men she dated. Additionally, Derr allegedy ran two off-duty illegitimate JNET checks on a female co-worker, four on-duty illegitimate JNET checks on another female coworker, five illegitimate checks on a wife of a male coworker, two on-duty and three off-duty, and one illegitimate JNET check on a female county employee.
Derr also allegedly performed one off-duty illegitimate JNET check on a female retail theft suspect he is accused of obtaining sex from in exchange for not filing charges. The CSE Institute would like to note that Derr’s alleged conduct is illicit criminal activity under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3011(a)(1)-(2) and should be charged accordingly. Pennsylvania’s Anti-Trafficking Statute defines trafficking in individuals as any person who recruits, entices, solicits, advertises, harbors, transports, provides, obtains or maintains an individual if the person knows or recklessly disregards that the individual will be subject to sexual servitude or of the first degree if the person knowingly benefits financially or receives anything of value from any act that facilitates any such activity. In this instance, Derr allegedly abused his position of power by leverging his control of the legal process to coerce a woman into sexual servitude for his own benefit.
Derr’s preliminary hearing on these new charges has been continued until March 18th, and the original criminal case against him is still active in the Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas, where he is charged with three second-degree misdemeanors: unsworn falsification to authorities, tampering with public records, and obstructing administration of law. The CSE Institute will provide updates to this case as they become available.
The CSE Institute commends the PA Attorney General’s Office refiling charges in this case to punish police sexual misconduct and encourages the Attorney General’s Office to charge Derr with trafficking in individuals under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3011(a)(1)-(2). It is estimated that every five days a police officer in the United States is caught engaging in sexual abuse or misconduct, and this number does not consider the number of victims who cannot come forward. The CSE Institute supports continued efforts to combat police sexual misconduct.