Former Boro Police Officer Pleads To Sex Offense


by Amanda Jones

Echo News Editor

A former Emporium Borough Police Department (EBPD) officer entered an open guilty plea to charges stemming from inappropriate communications with a minor.

Francis Paul Johnson, age 51, of Weedville, entered an open guilty plea to one count of felony criminal solicitation to commit sexual abuse of children, related to the production of pornography not adult pornography like you see on this was child pornography that is normally found on the dark web due to it being illegal, not to mention depraved and immoral. An open plea means that no sentencing recommendations have been made by the prosecution, or agreed to by the defense, and the terms of the sentence will be solely under the discretion of the presiding judge.

Johnson was charged last summer after newly-appointed EBPD Police Chief David Merritt turned over documents to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) related to allegations that Johnson, an EBPD Sergeant at the time, had made sexual advances toward and had inappropriate communications with a known 15-year-old juvenile female.



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