Authorities say rape charges against a Cambria County police officer accused of assaulting a teenager have been withdrawn and proper charges have been re-filed following further investigation.
According to court documents, 22-year-old Christopher Defazio was originally facing charges related to rape, aggravated indecent assault without consent, disseminating explicit sexual materials to a minor and corruption of minors, but those charges have all been withdrawn.
The original charges were filed by the East Taylor Police Department.
Following further investigation by Cambria County detectives, some charges were re-filed against Defazio Tuesday which include disseminating sexual materials to minors, corruption of minors and furnishing alcohol to minors.
“Upon further investigation by Cambria County Detectives, it became apparent that probable cause does not exist to support the most serious charges filed against Mr. DeFazio,” said Cambria County District Attorney Greg Neugebauer.
According to the new criminal complaint, Cambria County detectives were advised of an inappropriate sexual relationship between Defazio and a 17-year-old girl that occurred between July 2019 and December 2019.
Detectives say they interviewed the alleged victim Monday and she told them that she was having a relationship with Defazio.
She told detectives that she had first met Defazio at her home while he was on duty for the East Conemaugh Borough Police Department and the two exchanged Snapchats, according to the complaint.
According to detectives, the girl said she and Defazio had a sexual relationship after that in various locations including in East Conemaugh Borough, Richland Township and Nanty Glo Borough.
At one point, according to the complaint, Defazio and the girl stayed in the Super 8 motel in Richland Township and Defazio gave her alcoholic drinks.
She said the relationship continued even when she moved to Pittsburgh at which point the two exchanged sexual videos and photos.
District Attorney Neugebauer says Defazio remains suspended from the Nanty Glo and Geistown Borough Police Departments.
“The investigation and prosecution of this matter has been and will continue to be treated in the same manner as all such allegations,” Neugebauer said.
Defazio’s bail was set at $25,000 unsecured and he was to be released from prison, officials say.
He has a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Jan. 25.