Bail granted for suspended Ashley cop in sex case

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
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WILKES-BARRE — The Ashley police officer accused of forcing women into sex after traffic stops is now eligible for bail.

Mark Icker doesn’t present a danger to the community, a county judge said during a bail hearing this morning.

Icker, 29, of Dickson City, Lackawanna County, had been denied bail District Judge Donald L. Whittaker last week in connection with the third of three cases Icker is facing.

Prosecutors say Icker forced two women into giving him oral sex so they could avoid arrest and groped a third woman after pulling her over under suspicion of driving drunk.

Icker appeared before Judge Michael T. Vough this morning with his attorney Bernard Brown, who argued that the terms set by Whittaker were inappropriate.

Brown said he filed a motion at the magisterial level asking Whittaker to reconsider the bail, which he said was denied without evidence.

Brown claimed that under Pennsylvania’s Constitution, all crimes are to be bailable. Both he and First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce acknowledged that the Constitution was rewritten in 1998, blocking bail for charges that could carry a sentence of either life in prison or a death penalty.

Brown also said bail can be denied if prosecutors could prove Icker posed a significant risk to the community, or that he was a flight risk, something which he said prosecutors haven’t done.

Vough agreed with Brown, saying, “The Court finds there’s no evidence that he’s a danger to the community.”

As such, Vough reset bail for Icker at $100,000 straight cash bail. If Icker were to make bail, he’ll be required to relinquish his passport. Brown said he would be living with his family in Throop, Lackawanna County, so Vough ordered that he would not be able to leave Luzerne or Lackawanna counties without the court’s permission.

The hearing was almost an exact echo of last Friday’s hearing, where Vough lowered the $1 million bail set by District Judge Joseph D. Spagnuolo Jr. on Icker’s second round of charges to $100,000.

In both cases, Vough ordered that Icker may not work as a police officer or in any position of authority if he were to make bail.

Icker previously made bail on the first round of charges, which had been set at $25,000.

It was not clear later Friday whether and when Icker might post bail.

“All I can say is that my client and his parents are pleased and appreciates the Court decision in upholding the law today,” Brown told the Times Leader. ”They are exploring their options at this time make sure they give my client every opportunity to participate in preparing his defense.”

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https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/web1_TTL011019ICKER-Prelim1-6.jpgIcker

By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan