Philadelphia DAO releases information on 3 police, public safety officers accused of sex crimes
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has announced charges against several police and public safety officers involved in sexual violence cases.
In a Wednesday afternoon press conference, DAO officials detailed three cases.
Pointing out similarities to the case of former Philadelphia detective Phillip Nordo, who was sentenced to 24.5 to 49 years in prison on rape, stalking and attempted sexual assault charges, District Attorney Larry Krasner called the allegations "very serious." He also urged individuals who may have information to come forward with details.
Assistant District Attorney Lyandra Retacco released new information about a case against Howard Rubin, a former resource officer for the Philadelphia School District.
In 2010, Rubin was fired from a Philadelphia high school for inappropriate relations with students, according to authorities. Years later, he was separated from a charter school in the city for fraternizing with students.
Authorities say Rubin pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys back in 2013 and was arrested in January 2021. He was recently sentenced to 10 - 20 years on charges relating to the sexual assault of minors.
Rubin, who referred to himself as the "Philly Hip Hop Cop" on social media profiles, was well known at events where children would gather, Retacco said.
The DAO's office says he often served as an armed security guard at many of the events and claimed to mentor city youth.
Officials are asking anyone with information or who may have been a victim of Rubin's to come forward.
Retacco also announced an open investigation against Patrick Heron, a retired police officer, was first arrested in April 2022 and charged with 22 counts of unlawful contact with a minor, intimidation of a witness, child pornography, forgery, obstruction of an investigation, indecent assault, and corruption of minors. Heron's trial is scheduled within the next six months, DAO officials say.
The DA's Office is asking anyone who has information about Heron, including during the time when he was still serving as a police officer, to come forward with information.
"Our goal here is to try to support the people who have been hurt by these actions and frankly the color of authority that was twisted in all 3 of these cases," said Retacco. "We’re turning to the community, to Philadelphians so that if there are things that people know that we can get as clear of a picture we can of what kind of harm was done in the community."
Former homicide detective Donald Suchinsky faces stalking, and indecent assault charges related to his conduct while on duty in November 2020.
Retacco says charges relate to victims he met during his duties as a homicide detective.
Attorney Joshua Van Naarden says his client, the mother of a November 2020 homicide victim, came forward to the DA's Office about Suchinsky's behavior and with his help, filed a federal lawsuit in January, about a month before he was criminally charged.
The lawsuit, according to officials, alleges Suchinsky sent his victim emails, often asking for photos, using his department-issued email address. The lawsuit also alleges that when the victim refused his advances, it turned physical, resulting in a sexual assault that authorities say happened in the parking lot of the former police headquarters.
"This detective preyed upon a very vulnerable individual at her most vulnerable her son had been murdered," said Van Naarden. "We certainly believe that there are other victims out there and our only hope is that they have the same courage she has."
The DA's Office would not confirm details on Suchinsky's victim, and authorities say he has since been fired from the Philadelphia Police Department.
The District Attorney's Office typically does not release arrest photos of suspects but has done so for the three defendants in hopes that victims or witnesses may come forward, according to Krasner.