A preliminary hearing for twice-arrested Chester City police officer Albert Dion Ross has been scheduled at Springfield District Court on Nov. 30 at 9 a.m.
Ross, who was initially arrested on Aug. 30 for allegedly sexually assaulting women while on duty, was rearrested roughly two weeks later following the emergence of another accuser.
Multiple hearings were scheduled, since Ross’ second arrest, but each date was continued, including the latest on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Springfield District Court in front of Magisterial District Judge James Merkins. A spokesperson for the court said the session was continued at the request of “the defense council.”
The first hearing was set to be in Aston District Court, according to sources, then moved to Chester, which posed as a conflict because the hearing would have been held in the same building as the Chester Police Department. To avoid conflict of interest, the case was finally sent to Springfield.
Lastoison, however, called the allegations against his client “baseless” and asked a reporter, “Did you read the affidavits?” He added, “I think the stories are farfetched and speak for themselves.”
So far there are four women who have surfaced against the cop, but Latoison doesn’t call them “victims” because he doesn’t “believe they are victims.”
As reported earlier, after Ross’ initial arrest, sources familiar with the city said the officer had a stained background, laced with accusations of sexual assault spanning from multiple law enforcement agencies with which he worked over the years including at the George Hill Correctional Facility, the Darby Borough Police Department and the Chester Housing Authority.
Each account was also noted in a press release from the county District Attorney’s Office.
As a result of his profile, former Chester Police Commissioner Joseph Bail, Jr. and then-Mayor John Linder, refused to endorse Ross’ police certifications with the state’s Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission (MPOETC), but it was City Council that defied the police leadership’s recommendations to not hire Ross because of his background. Sources especially named Councilwoman Portia West, who was said to be friends with the officer’s mother.
Despite findings in Ross’ background investigation, called them “baseless.”
“Show me the facts that prove that statement,” the attorney said. “I have seen no proof whatsoever that any of that is true.”
Sources familiar with the investigation have questioned Latoison’s ability to adequately represent Ross because he may be familiar with one of the alleged victims.
The attorney has dismissed that claim.