- Associated Press - Saturday, July 25, 2020

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A former police officer in northeastern Pennsylvania has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to violating the civil rights of two women by using his authority to pressure them into sex acts.

Former Ashley officer Mark Icker, 31, earlier pleaded guilty in federal court to using his position to force himself on two women in 2018 during traffic stops. He apologized in court Friday, saying “That’s not my character. That’s not who I am.”

A plea agreement had called for a 12-year sentence, but U.S. District Judge Malachy Mannion found that “ïnsufficient,” calling his conduct “vicious.” He also ordered Icker to register as a sex offender, something victims who appeared in court had sought.

Icker was fired from his Ashley position and from part-time jobs with police in the nearby towns of Sugar Notch and Jessup after state charges were filed in Luzerne County. The state cases were withdrawn after his plea in November to the federal counts.

Defense attorney Bernard Brown said he and his client were happy that both the former officer and the victims could put the matter behind them. Icker also admitted trying to coerce three other women to perform sex acts in exchange for not filing charges against them.

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