Ex-Philadelphia officer indicted on sex assault charges

A former Philadelphia police officer has been indicted on sexual assault charges, authorities announced Wednesday.

Retired officer Thomas O'Neill, 47, is charged with sexually assaulting a woman while on duty in July 2016.

A civil lawsuit was previously filed on behalf of the victim, who court documents refer to as "a Philadelphia woman suffering from mental illness," in July 2017.

The complaint alleged that O'Neill "used his police authority while on duty to stalk and sexually assault" the victim.

O'Neill first came into contact the victim around Memorial Day weekend in 2016, when O'Neill was allegedly called to her home for a minor issue that did not result in a citation or arrest.

According to the complaint, O'Neill returned to the victim's apartment complex on July 3, 2016, in a marked police vehicle while she was riding a bike outside. After ordering the victim to get into the vehicle, O'Neill allegedly drove her to a nearby school and sexually assaulted her in the parking lot.

During the alleged 90-minute assault, O'Neill "had her touch his gun and rubbed the gun on her inner thigh," attorney Gregg Zeff told FOX 29.

O'Neill also allegedly told the victim that he "fantasized about beating, raping and shooting" people whom he described using a racial slur.

Surveillance footage captured parts of the alleged assault, according to Zeff.

"No matter who you are, if you commit a violent crime, we are committed to holding you accountable and keeping our community safe." U.S. Attorney William McSwain said of the indictment.

If convicted, O'Neill faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison with a 3-year period of supervised release and fines upwards of $250,000.