Meadville Tribune

January 1, 2014

Hearing set for Crawford County constable accused of raping woman


Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — A Crawford County constable accused of raping a woman on three occasions between Oct. 20 and Dec. 19 at hotels in Erie County faces a preliminary hearing next month on a total of 17 charges filed by Millcreek Police Department.

Stephen T. Chamberlain, 36, of 16612 Route 8, Centerville, faces a preliminary hearing Feb. 4 before Magisterial District Judge Paul Manzi on three counts each of rape, indecent assault, impersonating a public servant, official oppression and terroristic threats; and one count each of simple assault and unlawful restraint.

Millcreek Township Police arrested Chamberlain Friday for allegedly raping the woman twice at the Lake Erie Lodge, 1015 Peninsula Drive in Millcreek Township, and once at the Super 8 motel on Route 97 in Summit Township, according to the arrest affidavit filed in the case.

Chamberlain initially was placed in the Erie County Prison following his arrest but was released Monday after posting 10 percent, or $2,000, of a $20,000 bond.

Chamberlain was elected to a six-year term as constable of Steuben Township, Crawford County, on Nov. 8, 2011.

A constable carries out the business of Pennsylvania’s district court system, serving warrants, summons, complaints and subpoenas, transporting prisoners. While constables primarily serve the courts, they belong to the executive branch of government.

Under Pennsylvania Law, constables are elected or appointed to their position and must complete 80 hours of classroom training, including weapons training and pass a written examination, before performing any court duties, including execution of arrest warrants. Constables also must take 40 hours of continuing education each year to keep their certification.

According to the affidavit, the woman told police Chamberlain contacted her in October via text messages. The woman told investigators that she had an ad on backpage.com under escort services and Chamberlain asked her what services she provided and her prices, according to the affidavit.

The woman and Chamberlain agreed to meet at the Lake Erie Lodge on Oct. 20, according to the affidavit. After entering the woman’s hotel room, Chamberlain displayed a badge, handcuffs and firearm, and told the woman he was an undercover detective for prostitution, according to the affidavit.

Chamberlain told the woman he could arrest her and that she would serve 45 days in jail and pay a $2,000 fine unless she did what he said, according to the affidavit.

Chamberlain told the woman they could negotiate a deal in which he would see her when he wanted to, pay her what he chose to and would not arrest her for prostitution in exchange for sexual services, according to the affidavit.

Chamberlain and the woman had sex with Chamberlain paying the woman $40, according to the affidavit.

The two met a second time for a sexual encounter at the Lake Erie Lodge two weeks later with Chamberlain giving the woman $40 following that encounter, according to the affidavit.

The woman told investigators she did not contact authorities immediately after either incident because she thought Chamberlain would arrest her. The woman contacted Millcreek police on Nov. 18.

According to the affidavit, the woman contacted Pennsylvania State Police at 3 p.m. Dec. 19, saying she had been raped at the Super 8 motel on Route 97, south of Erie.

The woman told police she checked into the motel after arranging to meet an unidentified male at 2:30 p.m. that day, according to the affidavit.

She told police the meeting was arranged after she had a series of calls from a blocked phone number.

She told police she recognized the man who came to the motel as the same man who previously identified himself to her as an undercover prostitution detective, according to the affidavit.

After Chamberlain entered the room, the woman told Chamberlain she had contacted Millcreek police.

According to the affidavit, Chamberlain told the woman he was “the top dog,” grabbed the woman by her hair, wrapped it around his wrist and asked her if she was going to cause him any problems.

After the woman and Chamberlain had sex, the victim retained the used condom to present as evidence of the sexual assault, according to the affidavit.

Investigators obtained phone records of a cellphone number used by Chamberlain to arrange the first meeting, according to the affidavit.

Authorities had the woman describe who assaulted her to an Erie police officer who created a forensic sketch of the man.

Police also obtained a photo of Chamberlain from an online criminal justice database.

The photo and sketch were presented to the woman, who identified the previously unknown man as Chamberlain, according to the affidavit.