Former cop sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for abuse of women

Former police Officer Mark Icker was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison Friday for using his position to coerce sex from women in Luzerne County.
U.S. District Judge Malachy E. Mannion found an agreement for 12 years in prison reached by federal prosecutors and Icker's attorney, Bernard Brown, "insufficient" to address Icker's crimes. The judge also required Icker register as a sex offender — something the earlier agreement would have let him avoid.
Icker's conduct was "vicious," Mannion said.
"You chose to victimize women alone at night, late at night," Mannion said. "My guess is, though I don't know, there are more out there that didn't come forward."
The Citizens' Voice does not identify victims of sexual assault.
Authorities on the federal and state levels said Icker, 31, of Throop, used his position as a police officer in Ashley, Sugar Notch and Jessup to try and sexually abuse as many as five women he pulled over while on duty. 
In November, Icker pleaded guilty to federal charges of deprivation of rights — felonies — for the abuse of two women in Ashley in 2018. The state-level cases were withdrawn because the federal agreement came with significant prison time without the need to re-victimize the women by forcing them to testify.
Brown told the judge that Icker has lost his character, his dignity and his freedom. He hopes that the sentence, which includes three years of supervision after release, will be a "turning point" for his life rather than it's defining moment.
Icker apologized to those whose lives he's upended.
"That's not my character," Icker said. "That's not who I am."
A sharp intake of breath came from a seat in the gallery.
One of the victims, sitting in the rows behind Icker, glared at him and shook her head in disbelief at his words.
That is exactly who he is, she told the judge.
"You prey on women," she said to Icker in the courtroom. "That's what you do."
She stood before Mannion and pleaded with the judge to hear her voice. Icker violated her body and invaded her mind.
"You aren't a man," she told him. "You're a coward."
Another woman testified that Icker pulled her over in December 2018 and asked her a question: "What can you do to help me help you?"
She had been sober for eight years when Icker posed that question. After what came next, she stopped wanting to think or feel. She relapsed and her life crumbled.
"There's really not a whole lot I could add," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Olshefski said after the victims finished speaking. "It goes without saying how severe and disturbing his crimes are."
Mannion said the description of Icker's cold demeanor — "shark eyes" and "dead eyes" — during the encounters made him believe he has some "serious mental health issues he needs to resolve." 
Mannion lingered on the juxtaposition of two lines from the letters and reports associated with the case. On one hand, Icker would tell children to never fear a police officer. A police officer is there to help. On the other hand, he asked women he pulled over in the night "how can you help me help you?"
Icker's conduct, like those who "kneel on someone's neck and kill them," dirty the reputation of every honest police officer, the judge said. 
"These weren't random acts," Mannion said. "These were thought out in advance."
Icker must surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons next month to begin his sentence. He did not respond to questions as he left the William J. Nealon Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse in Scranton.
"We're just happy to put it behind not only Mr. Icker, but the victims," Brown said. "He feels bad, he feels awful. It was a breakdown of his family that caused a mental lapse."
The two victims who spoke in court, who said the shared trauma has turned them into friends, said they believed Mannion heard them and understood.
"Our voices were heard and I think that was the best part," one of the victims said. "Justice is finally served and I am so happy and proud."
Former cop sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for abuse of women Former cop sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for abuse of women Reviewed by Your Destination on July 25, 2020 Rating: 5

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