By Kay Smythe
A former homicide detective in Philadelphia was found guilty of multiple crimes, including rape and stealing crime reward money Wednesday.
Philip Nordo, 55, was found guilty of sexual assault, stalking, official oppression, theft by deception and other related crimes by a jury Wednesday, NBC10 reported. Nordo had worked for the Philadelphia Police Department for 20 years, starting in 1997 and being promoted to detective in 2002, but was fired in 2017, the outlet reported.
Nordo’s defense attorney, Michael van der Veen, said that the officer was dedicated, having won awards and praise from his superiors for his work, NBC10 continued. Prosecutors dropped more than half of the charges against Nordo in late May as they were unable to locate one of his accusers, the outlet noted.
In 2019, a grand jury report claimed that Nordo “groomed” his male victims throughout ongoing investigations, as well as engaging in conduct to make them more susceptible to sexual assault and other forms of coercive behavior, the outlet continued. Much of his actions took place during active investigations, where he would volunteer to work closely with his victims, the outlet reported.
Nordo would offer to transport inmates and witnesses for other detectives, giving him opportunity to identify new victims, the outlet continued. He would often target individuals who were handcuffed or shackled, displaying his firearm to them and saying that no one would believe them if they reported his actions, the outlet reported.
Nordo reportedly raped and sexually assaulted victims in hotel rooms, his car and inside of an elevator at police headquarters, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. (RELATED: ‘Her Arm Was Severed From Her Body’: Police Say Carjackers Killed 73-Year-Old Grandmother By Dragging Her With Car)
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On top of the rape and sexual assault charges, Nordo was found guilty of theft by deception, NBC10 continued. He stole crime reward money related to the murder of an off-duty police officer and diverted that money to one of his victims by falsely claiming that they helped solve the officer’s murder, the outlet noted.
“This incredibly difficult and complex criminal case has many victims, beyond the three people who testified under oath while acknowledging the pain and trauma they still feel, as well as shame due to stigma that is still so outrageously persistent in our culture,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “Nordo’s misconduct produced a number of wrongful convictions that have been overturned, retraumatizing and destabilizing survivors, some of whom may never know the identities of those responsible for killing their loved ones. Our office continues to review several dozen homicide convictions for which Nordo was partly responsible, as integrity requires.”
Nordo was taken into custody after the jury reached a guilty verdict, CBS Philadelphia reported. His official sentencing is set for August, the outlet concluded.