State police fire trooper charged with rape

Action was preceded by internal investigation

January 09, 1999|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

The Maryland State Police have fired a probationary trooper charged with raping a female acquaintance after a party celebrating his graduation from the academy, a spokesman said yesterday.

Jonathan M. Pilch, 26, of Myersville was fired Wednesday after an internal investigation of the criminal charges by Maryland State Police officers, said Capt. Gregory M. Shipley.

Pilch is charged with second-degree rape, a felony, and his trial has been scheduled for early next month.

"The information contained in that investigation was cause enough to terminate him," Shipley said.

Pilch was one of several graduates who gathered with friends at a Holiday Inn in Woodlawn the evening of Dec. 23 to celebrate completion of the Maryland State Police Academy, a rigorous six-month training course.

The party lasted into the early morning of Dec. 24, according to court documents, and about 3 a.m., Pilch entered the room of the victim, who was described as intoxicated and asleep.

The documents said Pilch had sex with the woman, whose name is not being published by The Sun because of the nature of the allegation, and she woke up and asked him to stop.

The firing was possible because of Pilch's probationary status, Shipley said. After they graduate, new troopers are on probation for two years and do not have the same rights as nonprobationary officers, Shipley said, including the right to suspension with pay until criminal charges against them are resolved through the courts.

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