On July 9th, 2021, former Bradford County District Attorney Chad Salsman was sentenced to 18 months to five years in prison. Salsman pled guilty in May 2021 to promoting prostitution, obstruction of justice, and intimidation of victims, with all other charges being dismissed as part of a plea deal.
The CSE Institute initially reported on Salsman’s case in February 2021 following his arrest. We provided a further update regarding Salsman’s guilty plea on May 20th, 2021. The charges against Salsman are related to his regular abuse of power during his time as a defense attorney, as he routinely coerced five female clients involved in criminal and child custody matters to perform sex acts on him. Salsman’s accusers reported to a grand jury that Salsman had groped them and pressured or forced them into sex acts—at times on his office desk—in addition to seeking naked photos of them. While Salsman initially vehemently denied the charges, issuing a statement calling the allegations “vicious lies,” he later pled guilty and resigned from his elected position as District Attorney as part of the plea deal.
This transparent abuse of power is further illustrated by one victim’s testimony, she stated that Salsman stopped charging her legal fees for representing her in a custody matter once she “gave in to his advances.” Pennsylvania’s human trafficking statute, 18 P.A.C.S.A. §§ 3011, 3012, recognizes such behavior: any sex act in exchange for anything of value by means of coercion is sex trafficking
The CSE Institute applauds the Office of the Attorney General for seeking to combat sexual exploitation and public corruption by those in positions of power. The CSE Institute further commends the bravery of all five victims in coming forward against former District Attorney Salsman.