On July 16th, former Carlisle police detective and FBI task officer, Christopher Collare, was found guilty of federal program bribery, bribery by a federal official, six counts of false statements, and distribution of heroin. On July 7th, 2021, a woman testified during the fourth day of Collare’s trial that he had purchased sex from her in addition to providing her with heroin. According to the woman, she met Collare though an advertisement that he responded to on a website used to arrange sexual encounters. The victim in this case further testified that she repeatedly had sex with Collare in exchange for money and heroin. Collare later informed her that there was to be a raid on her boyfriend, an alleged drug dealer’s, house.
Following her boyfriend’s arrest, the woman testified that Collare solicited sex from her in exchange for Collare agreeing not to appear in court for the charges against her boyfriend. This information comes following Collare’s January 2020 indictment on charges of bribery, drug distribution, fraud, and making false statements. At that time, the grand jury did not indict Collare for sex trafficking, instead branding his coercion of women into sex acts in exchange for criminal relief for their loved ones as “bribes” and defrauding of the county.
Sentencing has not yet been scheduled at this time. As we previously reported on the case in in February 2020 following Collare’s indictment, we are troubled by the fact that he was not charged with sex trafficking given that the victim’s testimony bore out the required elements to prove this charge. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act clarifies that trafficking is accomplished through “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.” In this case, trafficking was accomplished through coercion, which is defined as “(A) threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; (B) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or (C) the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process.” Moreover, these allegations fit within the definition of a commercial sex act, “any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.”
Given Collare’s position of authority as a law enforcement officer, his coercive approaches to these women and the legal cases involving their loved ones, and the fact that the promises made by Collare in exchange for the coerced sexual acts were things of value to the victims, Collare appears to have committed sex trafficking.
We are therefore disappointed that sex trafficking charges were not brought against Collare, but pleased with the overall conviction of a corrupt law enforcement officer who used his position of authority to abuse vulnerable women. We commend the victim for testifying against him and hope that she will set an example for other women to come forward when abused by police. We will continue to provide further updates on this case as they become available.