Former Dupont police officer to face child sex assault charges

By Ed Lewis - | August 28th, 2015 1:11 pm

PITTSTON — None of the alleged sexual assault victims testified against former Dupont police officer David Turkos.

Instead, Luzerne County Detective Charles Balogh was the sole witness against Turkos — who has a criminal record dating back to 2008 — at a preliminary hearing Friday before Senior District Judge Andrew Barilla.

Balogh and Dupont police officer Jennifer Polemitis charged Turkos, 43, of Dupont, in April, about a month after a 13-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man claimed they were sexually molested by Turkos from 2001 to 2008.

Turkos’ defense team, attorneys Jason Mattioli and Tom Munley, attempted to undermine the testimony calling it “hearsay.” They poked holes in the investigation, claiming there is no medical and forensic evidence that the boys had ever been sexually assaulted.

“There is absolutely no evidence any crimes were committed by my client against these kids,” Mattioli said, noting the boys never mentioned they were allegedly assaulted when questioned in an unrelated investigation in 2009.

It wasn’t until March when the allegations surfaced, Mattioli said.

After more than an hour of testimony by Balogh, Barilla determined Assistant District Attorney Jenny Roberts established a case against Turkos, sending three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, two counts of indecent assault and a single count of simple assault to county court.

Turkos remains free on $50,000 bail.

Balogh testified he assisted Polemitis with the investigation that two boys, known to Turkos, had been sexually assaulted when they were younger.

Balogh claimed the boys reported Turkos purchased them toys after the alleged assaults, and threatened to harm their mother and pets. The boys were aware Turkos carried a firearm, Balogh said.

Balogh said the boys were twice interviewed at the Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center.

“I believe what they are telling me,” Balogh said.

In an attempt to have the case dismissed, Mattioli said the boys could not recall how many times they were allegedly assaulted or dates when they were assaulted.

Balogh said it was normal for children not to remember horrific events.

Mattioli said he plans to file a petition in county court to have the charges dismissed against Turkos.

Turkos was hired as a part-time patrolman in Dupont in February 2002.

While still a police officer, Turkos was arrested in March 2008, accused of beating his wife and stepson. He had been charged with aggravated assault and harassment and two counts each of terroristic threats and simple assault, according to court documents.

Turkos later pleaded guilty to two counts of simple assault and harassment and was sentenced to six months probation.

Turkos was arrested in February 2009 on allegations he masturbated in front of two children. He was sentenced in March 2010 to six to 12 months in county prison on charges of corruption of minors.

David Turkos, a former Dupont police officer, leaves district court in Pittston after his preliminary hearing Friday on child sexual assault charges. Turkos, a former Dupont police officer, leaves district court in Pittston after his preliminary hearing Friday on child sexual assault charges. Clark Van Orden | Times Leader

By Ed Lewis

Reach Ed Lewis at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TLEdLewis