Probation officer: third accusation

A third victim has come forward to level charges against Jeffery F. Collins, a Warren County Adult Probation officer who has been charged with sexual crimes against females he was supervising.

According to a press release from Warren-based state police, Collins sent unwanted lewd text messages to the victim. He also allegedly grabbed the victim’s buttocks while in meetings at the Adult Probation office, and performed a sex act in front of her.

In the Affidavit of Probable Cause filed by State Police Trooper Todd Koebley, the victim said during an interview with police on Monday that Collins told her that if she had sex with her father and videotaped it, he could get her off probation completely.

Previously, Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene said that he had asked the state attorney general to prosecute the case because the probation department and district attorney’s office work together, and because the first victim had originally come to him for help, thereby involving him in the investigation.

Greene said that someone from the state attorney general’s office in Pittsburgh would be handling the prosecution.

On Tuesday afternoon, Patrick Schulte of the Pittsburgh office said he had just received the case and was in the process of gathering information from the state police. He acknowledged that he would be prosecuting the case.

Warren County Chief Adult Probation Officer Carl McKee said Tuesday he could not comment on the investigation because it was a personnel matter and an ongoing investigation. He did note, however, that Collins was a recent hire.

In general, adult probation officers have between 60 to a “top-end of 120” cases, depending on the level of supervision required for individual cases, McKee said.

Asked if probation officers were subject to background checks before being hired, he said, “Absolutely.”

The alleged incidents with the first victim occurred from Jan. 8 to March 4 of this year; from Dec. 18, 2013 to March with the second victim; and began in early October 2013 with the third victim.

Preliminary hearings for Collins, who has been suspended without pay, have been consolidated to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 30 in Warren County Central Court.