State files 28 new charges against ex-cop
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has filed new charges against Eric Derr, a former city police officer initially accused of abusing his position across 34 charges.
Those initial charges evaporated into three following a preliminary hearing where three were withdrawn because a witness was unavailable and 28 were dismissed after a judge found there was not enough evidence to prove criminal intent.
Now, the Commonwealth is bringing 28 charges, related to the unlawful use of a computer, back to court with additional evidence and witnesses.
According to David Scicchitano, from the attorney general’s office, Derr, of Cogan Station, allegedly used the police J-NET system to access the private records of women unrelated to police investigations.
“These were prohibited uses of that system and violated the J-NET user agreement, which also jeopardized the Williamsport Bureau of Police access to the system,” the affidavit read.
The Commonwealth alleged that between June 14, 2015 and Dec. 11, 2019, Derr ran 93 illegitimate J-NET checks on 28 different women while he was both on-duty and off.
The names were allegedly of coworkers, their family, county employees and female suspects. Derr allegedly had sexual relationships with the latter category.
One of the new witnesses in the investigation is Logan Chetaitis, a current police officer who interned with city police as a student back in 2018.
Derr allegedly started looking up women on the J-NET in the police cruiser and turned to Chetaitis, asking “if he thought they were ‘hot.'” According to Chetaitis, these checks were allegedly unrelated to official business.
Chetaitis’ girlfriend at the time, Kaylee Miller, told the attorney general’s office Derr repeatedly came to her place of work, both while on duty and off duty, to speak to her.
Derr allegedly bought her a pizza there while off-duty, and then would contact her on social media.
Once, while Derr, Chetaitis and Miller were at a bar together, Chetaitis left for the bathroom, and Derr allegedly told Miller to break up with him.
Derr allegedly approached Miller at a later date while she was working and told her “your registration is expired.”
Miller said her car was in the parking lot and and Derr did not know what car she drove, according to the affidavit. Derr also allegedly told her he knew her address.
Derr allegedly ran four J-NET searches on a female co-worker while he was on duty, in addition to running five checks on the wife of a male co-worker. Two were done while on duty, and three were done while off.
“None of them were for legitimate reasons,” Scicchitano wrote.
Billie Strickler, whose sister, Raven, married Derr, allegedly dated him from 2013-14 while Derr was married to someone else.
Strickler alleged that Derr sent Raven lewd photos of himself while in uniform and in a police car, and sent the following text:
“I love you like none other! I CANNOT LIVE without you! I basically stalk you every day because I can’t stand being without you!”
Scicchitano said Derr allegedly made six illegitimate J-NET searches on Raven Strickler while he was off duty.
Strickler also alleged that while on vacation with Derr, she witnessed him run more illegitimate checks. Derr allegedly accessed Strickler’s aunt’s old drivers’ license.
Strickler also alleged Derr and her sisters’ wedding reception in 2017, Derr was found touching and kissing another woman he ran J-NET checks on. Scicchitano said Derr ran a total of five illigitimate checks on the woman; two on duty and three off duty.
“While at a party, Derr started dancing on her older sister… which made her very uncomfortable,” Scicchitano said Strickler told him.
Scicchitano’s new affidavit also listed previous allegations that Derr ran J-NET 16 checks on “Female No. 1,” with whom he had a relationship.
Derr allegedly followed the woman, who was buying drugs in Williamsport, out of the area to ensure she did not get caught, and also ran checks on her to see if she had any warrants or still had a license. He allegedly did this both while the two were in a relationship and after the relationship had ended.
According to the attorney general’s office, Derr allegedly ran 16 checks on this female.
Derr is scheduled for arraignment on the 28 added charges March 8.