- An ex-homicide detective in Philadelphia is accused of grooming and sexually assaulting dozens of men linked to crimes he was investigating.
- Philip Nordo, 52, is charged with multiple counts of rape, sexual assault, institutional assault, among other charges, according to a grand jury presentment seen by INSIDER and embedded below.
- Court documents allege that Nordo used his status as a homicide detective to cultivate relationships with suspects, victims, and witnesses, then covered up the alleged sexual assaults by manipulating his victims.
- Through his defence attorney, Nordo maintains he is innocent.
A longtime Philadelphia homicide detective is accused of grooming dozens of male victims, witnesses, and suspects of crimes so he could sexually assault them – then covered up his crimes through threats and manipulation, a grand jury presentment alleged Tuesday.
Philip Nordo, a 52-year-old two-decade veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, faces dozens of counts of sexual offenses, including rape, sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, and stalking, court documents show.
Throughout his career, he used his status as a police officer, then a homicide detective, to cultivate relationships with people connected to his investigations, according to the 38-page grand jury document, which INSIDER first saw reported from The Philadelphia Inquirer and Washington Post and is embedded at the bottom of this article.
The documents allege one 2005 incident in particular
In one 2005 incident, Nordo interrogated a suspect in a robbery and eventually extracted a signed confession. But the documents allege that he also forced the man to masturbate in front of him, touched him, massaged his penis, then kissed him on the mouth.
After the man ejaculated and cleaned himself up with a piece of paper, which he balled up and threw on the floor, Nordo asked, “Do you want to put that in my mouth?” according to the documents. Prosecutors say Nordo then told the suspect he “didn’t have anything to worry about with this case” and that both men could make a lot of money if he stayed quiet.
The next day, after being taken to a jail cell, the suspect reported the alleged assault once the police shifts changed over. According to court documents, he told an officer that he had been “sexually harassed” by a white detective, who kissed him and forced him to masturbate.
How Nordo allegedly groomed his victims
Though the bulk of the court documents are redacted, they detail a stunning array of tactics Nordo allegedly used to meet and groom victims.
For instance, Nordo would often volunteer to drive inmates and witnesses for other detectives, which allowed him to meet a variety of people, the grand jury document said. He would also use small talk during initial meetings with victims to help drop their guard so that he could push forward with more personal topics, the documents added.
“Nordo discussed these personal topics to test the person’s reaction and their likelihood to resist or comply,” the court documents said. “At the end of these initial meetings, Nordo would give the victim his contact information.”
Nordo covered up his alleged misdeeds through a mixture of intimidation and incentives, threatening to arrest or prosecute certain individuals, while promising loyalty to others or giving them money or gift cards, according to the documents.
He would even submit packets on witnesses’ involvement in investigations to crime-reward programs, the documents said, alleging that Nordo fraudulently diverted up to $US20,000 from the Mayor’s Office’s Crime Reward Program to people he chose.
“Nordo used his position of authority to engage in police misconduct involving interviews of potential witnesses and suspects,” the documents allege. “He cultivated relationships with male suspects, witnesses, or individuals who may or may not have been related to an investigation.”
Through his attorney, Nordo maintains his innocence
Nordo, who was fired from the police department in 2017, was arraigned on Tuesday. During his arraignment, a Philadelphia judge ordered him held without bail, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Through his defence attorney Michael T. van der Veen, Nordo maintains his innocence. Van der Veen added that the prosecution was motivated by “political forces,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, but did not elaborate.
It remains unclear how many of Nordo’s cases and prosecutions could be affected by his arrest and the accusations against him.
Read the grand jury presentment below:
Philip Nordo Grand JuryPre… by onScribd