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Former York City police officer charged with sexual abuse of a teen

Joseph A. Palmer Jr., 28, of Dover Township, has been charged with several crimes related to the alleged sexual abuse of a minor last year.
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YORK, Pa. — Former York City police officer, Joseph A. Palmer Jr., 28, was charged Friday with several crimes related to the alleged sexual abuse of a minor, court documents show. 

A York woman contacted police earlier this year and told them that she believed her daughter had been "groomed" and sexually assaulted by an officer within the York City police, according to an affidavit. That officer, she claimed, was Palmer, who had been working with minors as a juvenile engagement officer.

The minor met Palmer through a number of community engagement events that the police department had hosted and her family had attended, the affidavit goes on. In the fall of 2021, the minor reportedly reached out to Palmer for advice. Not long after, Palmer allegedly asked the minor to communicate through Snapchat where their communication shifted to a sexual nature. 

Court documents say that Palmer and the teen exchanged nude photos and videos after Palmer asked the minor to do so. On two separate occasions, Palmer allegedly touched the teen inappropriately at a local bowling alley. 

By Feb. 2021, the affidavit says that the two parted ways, but after speaking to a sibling, who claimed that Palmer had been inappropriate with them as well, the two decided to tell their parents what allegedly happened. 

On March 4, Palmer reportedly called York County 911 and tried to get information about a possible report having been made in reference to the teen or her address; when he arrived at work that day, Palmer then discovered that the allegations had been made against him, also according to the affidavit. 

By April 12, Palmer had resigned. 

In all, Palmer has been charged with indecent assault of a person under the age of 16, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor, contact/communication with a minor − sexual abuse; photograph/film/depict on computer sex act − knowingly or permitting child; and disseminating photo/film of child sex acts. 

He has been released on $50,000 bail. 

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